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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  November 7, 2011 8:00pm-1:00am EST

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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> in a moment lara logan interview. that is live. in an hour david cameron on last week's g-20 summit in the ongoing chemical prices. after that, the future of the " biggert spring." and our series on the military looks at how the marine corps might be affected by budget cuts. lara logan sitting down to discuss the nature of foreign conflicts. this is part of a series produced by george washington university and the national press club. live coverage on c-span. >> from the national press club in washington, d.c.,, this is
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"the kalb report" with marvin kalb. [applause] >> hello and welcome to the national press club and to another edition of the "kalb report" and our guest is lara logan, cbs news chief foreign affairs correspondent and "60 minutes" correspondent as well. after working for a few newspapers in south africa, where she was born, she joined reuters television and britain tv before freelancing for fox and cnn. and then in 2002, after reporting for cbs radio news, she joined the network itself, cbs news, and her career since then has skyrocketed. first reporting on the war in iraq for the "cbs evening news"
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and "60 minutes ii"." and four years later, she was named chief foreign correspondent for kbs cbs and regular contributor to "60 minutes." she was brutally assaulted and beaten, but bounced right back and along the way winning many prizes and the admiration and respect of her colleagues. lara logan, welcome to "the kalb report." tell us about the beginning of lara logan, south africa, journalism, your parents, how did it all fit together? >> well, i think the first thing that i was filled with, even before i really understood what was going on, was a great sense of the injustice of apartheid and we were taught to treat people with respect at home no
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matter who they were. >> apartheid was the official policy of the south african government that separated whites from blacks. >> treating black people as second-class people, if people at all in their own country. i remember standing in the grocery store with some candy and my dad would take us to get 20 cents worth of candy and an old black man standing at the counter and everyone went past him and i asked my father why. when we got to the front, my father wouldn't let us pay for the candy until the shop keeper served that gentleman. and there was something very wrong but the values instilled in me as a young child that taught me to stand up for what was wrong. at 17, i got a job at a local newspaper and no one would send me into the townships. i did the silly stories. i asked photographers to take
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with them at night, on weekends when most of the other kids were at the beach, i was at the newspaper. and really, it was -- i went into foreign media not long after that, because i knew there was a world that the south african government wouldn't allow us to see. i came to -- people noticed me because no one was reporting from the front line and i was living with the afghan soldiers. and all articles written about as if i just began my journalism career, but i spent months in angola living with the resistance there with nothing. we were digging the gound for food. >> you have been associated in the public mind with being a war correspondent. and in your mind, how would you define being a war correspondent? what are the qualities that you need? >> i think there is something
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true of all people that do the work i do. i think the story is bigger than you. that's what you are motivated by. if you are motivated by being on television or seeing your article in the newspaper, you aren't there. you aren't the one that is there on the sharp edge, on the razor's edge of the true side of the war, not just all the hundreds of people that flocked into baghdad the day the city fell, but the 100 journalists that stayed when the city was under attack. and we are motivated by the same thing that morrow was motivated by, a passion and belief in being a witness to history, a witness to our times. and one of the most fundamental things of any democracy, how can your government go to war if you are not there to at least first witness and then decide where you stand. >> you feel that you're there as a sit-in for the people of the united states in this case?
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>> if you imagine there are things that happen out there and no one witnesses it, they never happen. the war in angola, no one cared about that war. right reuters would go in once in a few months. and that was the only time. and people were being tortured and slaughtered. most of them didn't care what happened in angola, but i cared, i did it because i believed in it. >> was it ever in your mind a role model that you looked up toss a war correspondent. >> there are so many people that i respected, but i never wanted to be somebody else. i always wanted to be my own person and i didn't grow up in the arms of the american media. i respected what was done in cnn in beijing and in the square.
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but i think the people that i really respected most were the ones in the trenches with me. >> the reporters who were there with you? >> people side by side. the reporters. in south africa, in the fight against apartheid, it wasn't like the media is in a lot of other places. people cared about the story. people were there and believed apartheid was wrong. if we could expose what was happening, it would change. there was something noble in what we did. great journalists and cameramen would come there to work. that's who taught me my craft. even the young black guy who didn't have an education but could find a way to get the tape in and out of that township and we would hide tapes in our mattresses and there was a bond
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that what we were doing was something noble and we believed in it. >> as the chief foreign affairs correspondent for cbs, you have been called upon to cover stories that not only mean war but diplomacy or state department. >> better known as politics. >> how do you see that yourself? do you see yourself doing the war than the summit? >> yes. and more invested in it. it requires more of you and asks to find out who you are and ask what is truly important. i would give up a toilet and a hot meal and a bed any day for a story that's real. i can't stand to dabble in things that aren't real. they don't mean anything. politics is incredibly important, but it doesn't burn that fire in me the way it does
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to be out there in the most impossible situation doing something that is truly the difference between life and death. >> could it be argued the president of this country and the president sitting over there doing something for war and peace is a burning issue? >> it doesn't burn in me. as painfully boring sometimes. so much diplomatic speak that you spend hours trying to work out what the hell they just told you. >> you think the military people when they talk to you are straight talkers? >> not always. but i have been very adept of sorting out the talking points from what's real. and i have acquired a reputation of having knowledge so they are a little more nervous serving me up and saying, this is recorded.
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[laughter] >> and i have to be quite honest with you, they don't mind when you call them out on it. they kind of expect it. but when you call a politician on out on it, they don't appreciate it. >> let's talk about embedded journalism. and you yourself have been embedded with american forces any number of times and you have spoken about quote, the unwritten rules of embedded journalism. >> i don't think that is just embedded journalism. >> i'm just quoting you. >> it was that context. but i'm expanding my quote. >> you have been embedded many times. what do you think are those unwritten rules of embedded journalism? >> the same rules that apply to anything. rules of integrity. that's really what i'm talking about. if you are a crime reporter, a justice reporter, there are
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certain -- there is a certain amount of trust that develops in any of those situations. if a lawyer or police says you cannot report on this right now because you are going to jeopardize this case, very often reporters make judgment calls. and i think what i meant when i was talking about that is i think that you know when i spend weeks on end with soldiers, when they're talking about very personal things, i don't think they think i'm going to put that in the media. i think there is a bond of trust that develops with you over time where there are certain things that are understood and i don't mean that in a sense that you ever compromise your journalistic integrity. if i give my word that i'm not going to report something or give the reason this is why i'm here, i think your word is your bond and the story has never been more important to me than
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who i am. i have to live with myself. i never encountered a story that was more important than my integrity. >> good. good. you probably know this already -- >> i don't read many blogs. >> there is a blogger who refers to you as a pentagon favorite journalist. why do you think he said it? >> i think he probably said it because when general mcchrystal was released after the "rolling stone" article, i said something stinks here. i didn't say this is horrendous and i know that stanley mcchrystal is. i never met him. i didn't have anything vested, but i know when something is wrong and it felt wrong. i don't believe that was a true report. i don't believe it was truly accurate of the situation.
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i don't think what was described was presented in the right context. and it didn't add up. one said i e mailed him and he inhave ited me to come to paris in the most open situation. i think if stanley mcchrystal as you at an event which is his wedding anniversary and hasn't seen his wife in a year, that a personal environment. there was never my mention that mcchrystal was drinking, but the impression you were left with, it was a free-for-all, big drinking party. i think it was something dishonest about that article and i'll say it again and again and i don't care what the blogs say. and if we weren't on television i would tell them what they could do with themselves. [laughter] >> i think we get the spirit of that. i gather what you said in the past that you think journalists
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ought to share their personal opinions with the public. hang on. 2009, you're quoted as saying, every true journalist at heart wants to change the world. i think it's game-playing to say, oh, reporters shouldn't give their informed opinions. that's been a function of journalism forever. now i could argue that point with you, but i don't think i'll do that now, but do you give your opinions in news reporting? >> i think what you are talking about is in reaction -- i was on an internet show and i was asked for my opinion and analysis. i wasn't reporting. i was there as a guest to offer my opinion. what i was trying to say, when i say journalists have always given their opinion, i was talking about the editorial pages of the newspaper. there was an op ed pages where analysis and opinions were given. i don't think they should be con fewed. they are very disstimping and very open that those lines are
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forever drawn. i don't go on "cbs evening news" and give my opinion. i say true to the facts. when you are asked for your opinion, you should be entitled to give it and not be villified for giving it. >> you have a reputation -- >> you are asking me for my opinion, right? >> you have this reputation of being outspoken and you have already demonstrated that. [laughter] >> what's your opinion then about the quality of american television coverage of the wars in iraq and afghanistan? >> i think it varies wildly. it's hard to paint it with one brush. i don't like hear academics and analysts who are talking from washington, d.c., for example and have spent very little time on the ground in those countries and who clearly have had a control experience. they go for a week and phone in
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and i don't think if you haven't had time to taste the dirt of afghanistan with afghan people and didn't have a chance to bleed in the dirt, and i don't mean literally, i don't think you can have a true understanding. i don't like shows when i listen to academics who have access to the white house because i don't believe they know what they are talking about most of the time. there is a lot to be said for reporters who spend time on the ground and i think there have been some great reporting. i have worked shoulder to shoulder with great journalists. >> like who. dexter philkins from the "new york times." i happen to think of people i respect. richard engel. i don't always agree with his analysis but he has done great job and our own cbs people who
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have spent time out there and done great stuff. of course, i'm sitting here in washington, d.c., now because i have been asked to do much more for the network. if i didn't have a husband and two small children, i would be in afghanistan right now. you would need an arm oured division to dislodge me from that position. [laughter] >> and i believe you would see some reporting that aren't seeing right now and i don't believe i have the answer. it is patchy and lack of commitment. "60 minutes" has reported consistently on the war and our ratings never suffered. >> because you once did say if i watch the news that you are watching here in the united states, i would blow my brains out. it would drive me nuts. [laughter] >> yes. i stand by that. [laughter] >> take one step back and go from comments about the media to comments about policy.
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the invasion of iraq in 2003, good or bad idea? >> bad idea. >> why? >> it was based on lies, first and foremost. and we never went into iraq to help the iraqi people. let's just be frank about that up front. but more than that, because it was never set to achieve anything good. i mean you could argue if you are a shiite, who now is in power and who never had a chance even of a decent life under saddam hussein that something good came from it. but i'm talking about from an american perspective and i mean from a western perspective, because the world has been quick to divide this fight into american and non-american and i don't believe in that division. i think the division is between western and non-western and i don't want to put a religious name on it. it's people who believe in one
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way of life and then an alternative way of life that goes back centuries to what i call a very dark time. and i think it's been an abject failure. the failure of the iraq invasion hasn't been honestly talked about. >> what do you think is missing there? >> are we would like to presented that general petraeus came in and saved the day. he stopped the blood letting, but not because of the surge, but he made an agreement with the sunnis that was on the table since the first day of the invasion. >> that he could have made it? >> absolutely. but not until there was so much blood on the sunnis hands that we had the political will to make that kind of agreement. the surge prevented those sunnis being massacred by the iraqi government and iranians. they wanted them dead, every single last one of them.
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and i went on raids like this. the sunnis were hand-in-hand with saddam hussein. that's what stopped the blood letting. in terms of strategy, in terms of national security and strategic interests, the invasion of iraq was a failure and empowered iran to a degree we have never been honest about and did nothing to serve american interests, not to mention -- i don't want to get into the rl effect of the iraqi people. many iraqis have benefited from the invasion of iraq. >> let me ask you about afghanistan since you have been so blunt about your views on iraq. i recently with my daughter did a book called "haunt legacy" and it's effect of the vietnam war on policy making. and when we talk to the people at the u.s. embassy in kabul and
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they define it as good enough if they could come up with some kind of formula that is politically acceptable to the american people. that is good enough. what i'm wondering is if you heard the same kind of thing from embassy people and do you feel that good enough at this stage of the war is good enough? >> i think that's an indictment on the u.s. embassy. i expect nothing more from politicians and from that embassy. iken berry almost destroyed it and destroyed it when he was ambassador. what is good enough? what's good enough for the afghan people? what is good enough for the american sold year. has bin been to walter reed and what human debris looks like? i was shocked. i'm used to be on the battlefield and used to seeing
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them wounded and leaving in a chopper and as long as you hear they are going to make it, you breathe a sigh of relief, but it's not close to ok. for me, i don't think that's a good policy good enough for anybody. if you are not in it to believe it can be won and people ask, what does that mean -- >> what does that mean in afghanistan? >> what it means, what were your original aims. go back to your original aims. it wasn't an invasion. the afghans are the ones to go say they were talking to the taliban with u.s. help. several less than 100 personnel on the ground. the original aim was to defeat al qaeda and taliban and ensure that they were never to threaten the national security of the united states again. that clearly is not the case. when you are sitting down and
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avoiding the hypocrisy of not putting the taliban on the terror list and tell you that every insurgency in history wants to enter into negotiation and i believe they just want to be on the battlefield. people do not advocate for war. you better win. if you're not, just go to go loiter on the bltfield and miss with one political strategy after another, then get the hell out. you have no right to ask people to fight in your name. best anology, line up 100,000 of those troops and give them a shove and send them straight into the taliban. the enemy is not in afghanistan.
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the expendable people are in afghanistan. the real enemy is across the board in pakistan and i'm not advocating war for pakistan. but you could address that. as long as you are not going out to the true source and we have the capacity and information to do that and we have not because of our policy towards pakistan, then you have no business being in the fight. when you say karzai is corrupt. 30 guys will strap on suicide bombs and blow themselves up on an attack because they are upset that the government is corrupt. give me a break. this is not about corruption or whether karzai is a reliable strasteegic partner. that's an excuse. >> what do you think is really at the heart of the american effort now in afghanistan? >> get the hell out. that's all we care about. it's costing too much. we don't think the afghans are
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worth the fight. and we want to get out of here. >> and at this particular point, if the u.s. were to work out a way of getting out, would that have accomplished its original purpose, it sounds to me that it has been a waste. >> it is. it has been a waste. you have the locations. the afghan war -- >> you go in there. >> you don't have to go in there. if you got their phone numbers as i know we have had for years, you don't need to go across the border. >> what do you do? >> take them out the same way and all the others that have been killed that way. >> well -- >> and you do it, you target not just them but the network and take 24-48 hours and target the people and send a message to the pacts that putting bodies in
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arlington cemetery is not an acceptable form of foreign policy. >> let's take a brief moment now to what is called identification, radio, television and web cast viewers and this is "the kalb report" and i'm talking to chief foreign affairs correspondent, lara logan. let me raise a difficult subject for you, early on in the egyptian revolution, you were sexually assaulted and beaten and you couldn't do your job. you are back full-time and i'm wondering if that experience has affected you as a journalist and i have in mind a comment that you made to scott in an interview with "60 minutes." you said, quote, i have a fear now in me that i never had before. i don't want to let it stop me, but it's going to be difficult. explain that.
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>> i think all of us, you have this -- you carry with you this idea that it's not going to be me. you know it can happen. and one day it is you. and you can't lie to yourself anymore is the best way to describe it. so i'm afraid of things that i wasn't afraid of before. i think about things. i lived with afghan soldiers on the front line with nobody with me. two afghans that i just met that didn't even speak english. what -- would i do that again? the thing that is most difficult, it reminds you of the price of the people you love have to pay for what you do. i could do if it was just me. i would have gone back to libya and testing myself, but it's just not me. and when you come back -- when you come that close to dying and
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that doesn't describe it because i said i was in the process of dying. i was already half dead before it stopped and i was somehow able to live. i look at my children now and look at my husband and i think how could i do that to them. so the journalism is the same, you believe in the same things. i believe in the work as much as i ever have, but i'm conscious about how selfish that decision is and conscious of the price that the people i love pay. and that makes you afraid. and i don't know that being afraid enables you to do the things that i've done. i just went back to afghanistan, so it's not like i'm chained to the desk. >> i was still a little puzzled because a couple of days before you actually went back and face that had awful experience, i believe a few days before you were on "the charlie rose program." and you said you felt you and
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your crew were targeted and you didn't feel we were not safe, you said. >> that's when i was arrested in egypt the week before. >> my point is feeling that you were targeted, having been arrested, but you still went back. >> yes. >> what is it about lara logan that can say something that is obvious and then say lara, let's slow down but you went back any way? >> journalists are anarchrists at heart. my producer, he looks like he works for the state department every day. it drives us crazy, because we could be in the deserts of darfur and looks like he rolled out of washington. but he said we were sitting in this room in this secret -- not really secret, but intelligence
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facility, prison, in egypt and i was on a drip because i had been very, very sick. i began vomitting before the combrations began. and not starting out the interrogation with that kind of behavior. they put a drip and stuck a needle in my arm and threw a bag on a table and left me in a filthy room. my producer and camera man was with me and my camera man was ready to get out of there. his grandmother was jewish and made him sign a confession and my producer said screw these guys, who are they to tell me what to do. and it's that kind of feeling. you don't want to be stupid about it, but this was a major story. we're talk ink about one of the most fundamental shifts in the strategic map of the world that we have ever seen in our lifetime. and so, there is part of you
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that as a journalist that thinks you need to be there to witness it. and my husband talked about it and we took that decision together. i didn't make that decision on my own and i had to stay and mean it, if you tell me no, if you ask me not to go, i won't. and he didn't. >> but you have spoken openly about that experience now and quite a few times and i don't want to belabor the point. i have a larger question in mind which is more than lara logan is that women reporters have -- have been told many times, suffered many forms of sexual violence and don't want to talk about it. why don't they want to talk about it? >> media is a big boys' club. that frames the environment in which you are working. women are good for a bit of
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fluff as anchors and they fill a particular role but taken a long time for women to be taken seriously on the same playing field like, for example, in war. >> i have to tell you that many, many young women are now covering the wars. >> now. but not 10 years ago. not when i was coming up through the ranks. if you did, you were expected to be manly and not allowed to wear makeup or be feminine. you had to fulfill a certain image of what a war correspondent looked like. i didn't know that. that was never in my d.n.a., so i never tried. and i was told repeatedly that i would never make it and someone with my hair would -- thought about cutting my hair for three seconds after that interview and that's how long it lasted. it's not just hard for women to speak about it, but harder for
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men to speak about it than men. it's not just women who are raped in horrible prisons around the world. it's men, too. and i had men write to me since egypt happened. women live with a degree sexual harassment. it's in your personal work, too. some think it comes with the territory of being a woman. if i came out of the afghan war and told you that i'm a push for kabul as the afghan soldiers were taking kabul. one of the guys took a photograph and one came out of the crowd and grabbed my breast and the general hunted this guy down and put a gun to his head, that would have overshadowed everything i ever did. so i didn't hide it, but first time i talked about, there were
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big headlines in the newspapers of britain. i thought, wow -- that's not what i want to be remembered for. there are a lot of things that you take with the territory. i didn't whine about every risk or how hard it was, you shut up and take it and you do your job. in afghanistan, everyone was complaining about how a terrible war that was to cover. but compared to angola and mow saddam beek, that was fairly luxurious. >> you are not saying it's more difficult for a woman to cover a war, are you? >> no. there are certain risks that women face. when the "new york times" teams were arrested in libya, there were things that happened to the men in that team that were never talked about of a sexual nature. men are at risk. >> i read a lot about you and lot of things what you have said
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and what people have said about you and i come away with the impression that a lot of people seem more fascinated by your personal life, what kind of person is lara logan than about your professional accomplishments, which are so obvious. so why do you think that's the case? >> i don't know, they think a photograph of me can sell a newspaper, apparently. i have been told that. i don't have a good answer to that question. one thing i will say, though, i had no idea until egypt happened that there were so many of my colleagues that were interested in the work that i do and respected it. and because you get so used to covering your back in this business and waiting for the next knife that you forget about that aspect of it. and people as my mother in law said, people don't say nice things about you until you're dead. she said you are kind of lucky. and i said, really?
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>> you said something a minute ago. do you think that the industry now is loaded up with people who go for your back, who want to do you harm? do you live in that kind of environment? >> not more so than a lot of journalists. that is the nature of the industry. i think there are lots of people who are subjected to it. i'm not unique. >> let's talk about foreign reporting for a few minutes. i have the impression lately that in terms of foreign reporting on networks that aside from reporters who are living somewhere and covering that environment, big-shot journalist will fly in, do a couple of interviews, spend a week and leave, go back home.
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i'm wondering since your career is very much in the ascdency that you will find yours in a situation and want to stay somewhere and soak it up and they are going to say you have to be back on friday because on sunday you are going on the air. and so what do you think about the inevitablity of lara logan moving into a time she will have to do what producers tell her to do because she's a big shot now and going to be on television and draw many more eyes to the network? how are you going to deal with that lara, logan? free spirit? >> other times i might give in and other times i might get people upset. i mean it wouldn't be the first time that i disappeared. when i covered ramadi, no one
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would send me when i was living in baghdad and we would get the press releases and see how many solders were dying in ramadi. and you just physically couldn't go out because it was so dangerous and cbs didn't have any interest in sending me so i called up one of my producers at "60 minutes" and said don't ask any questions, get on a plane we are going to ramadi. and off we went. and we just disappeared for three weeks and i coming to a base at one point in ramadi where they said to me there is someone from new york who has been trying to reach you. every journalist knows. we are adept at disappearing when we need to. there is something very uncomfortable about that reality but that rarely bothers me. so much of -- truly good reporting comes from your gut
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and if you haven't had time on the ground, haven't had time to really grow that inate sense of what that something is. i know afghan people because i have spent so much time with them. when someone tells me something in washington that doesn't fit, i know it doesn't fit. i don't need to read a report. i don't need to refer to anybody else. i know here it doesn't fit. and so i don't want to become one of those people that say parachutes in and parachutes outs. there are ways around it and it isn't perfect and nothing can substitute for the years i spent living in afghanistan or kabul, but i have to deal with it as it comes. and when i go to afghanistan, i don't go for three days. i spent 2 1/2 weeks there and that is nothing for the years i spent there and the months i spent on trips. but it's not three days.
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and hopefully, i'm going to find a way around that. >> i keep wondering how that's going to happen, and i don't see it. >> i'm not driven by my hours and minutes on air, i'm really not. that's not the motivation. if you do a story, you want it to be out there and want people to be paying attention but if i do a few less pieces a year, i don't really care. >> and "60 minutes" doesn't bother you if they do a few minutes less. >> it's run by journalists and not corporate executives. run by journalists. you have to understand -- jeff understands and if i say i have to spend three weeks in afghanistan because it's important, he says fine, make it work. he doesn't say sure, we'll make
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it work for you. he says make it work. if that's the decision you are going to make, make it work and god help you, you better make it work or you aren't go to go have a job. >> how do you prepare for a story for "60 minutes"? >> it depends. the reason i spent my entire academic career crashing for exams was preparation for my career at "60 minutes" because i will be on an airplane with a book like this. i have a good short-term memory because i made my academic career remembering everything that i ever studied and i used the same thing at "60 minutes." i will sit down a five-hour interview and never look at a piece of paper. we just won an emmy for a piece. and i never thought about it until my producer said not bad
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after not a single written question. we do research and not rely on what's out there. of course you read everything that moves but you try to go beyond that to people who are experts in their field and you really have to master an extraordinary amount of detail. you have to know much more than ever comes out in the story. and it's tough. i did three "60 minutes" pieces in three days, i was a medical expert, and polo expert and economic and i.m.f. expert on another day. >> did you want to talk about not wanting to be an instant expert. you want to soak it up. >> i do. there is a difference, when you immerse yourself in the level of detail to do a strong "60 minutes" interview, that is different than popping up on a
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channel all over the world and being an instant expert and reading a two-line wire. >> when you run out of words to cover, what are you going to be doing? >> i just filmed a profile in colombia and up in canada on michael buble. i have been shooting a story on polo. i know more about polo than i ever care to know. "60 minutes" is a magazine program and it's about the richness of life and not just about war. and i smile to myself because i have this thing about oh, boy, she can do something other than war. what do you think? i never read a book? never been to a museum and admired a beautiful painting? i never go to the movies. if you can sit down and interview a president and
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minister of defense and street kids and sleep on the streets of angola with the street kids, you can do those things. you have to give of yourself as much -- that's what people -- they want to know what are you made of? because that's what "60 minutes." mike wall ace and ed bradley, why do people like to watch them? they were good people as well as some of the greats. i'm trying to walk in those shoes. >> i understand. and they are big shoes. but you are a foreign affairs correspondent for cbs, so you seem to be spending most of your time doing "60 minutes" pieces. >> "60 minutes." >> when do you find yourself having time to do something for the evening news? >> i will have a meeting with a gling contact or source and find something critical out and pass
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it onto the evening news and that leads to something. >> what i'm getting at it's not a day-to-day sense of responsibility. >> scott understands what it takes to do 12 to 15 "60 minutes" pieces on the air and doesn't put pressure and my boss understands that. people don't understand. every one of these pieces is like giving birth to trip lets. it really is and sometimes that's pleasant in comparison. you rewrite everything a thousand million times, you fight with each other, love each other, go without sleep. when i was 8 1/2 months pregnant working on a two-part producer and a 22-year-old producer saying, i wouldn't complain how tired i am but she is eight mobts pregnant. and you are a real team and work through the hard nights together and it's tough, but it's
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rewarding. >> you mentioned a moment ago about reading books and i don't want to put you on the spot, but what are the kind of books that you enjoy reading? are you a mystery reader or history? >> i do like mysteries, but most of my life is occupied by reading things that will help me do a better job. i'm reading a book called "every patient tells a story." i always said i hate medical stories, but this is one of the best. and undiagnose knowsed diseases and what it's like. one of the people i interviewed, she took my breath away and told me that the last 26 years of her life she had been tortured by her muscles and no one could give her anance. -- give her answer. peter thompson has written about
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the wars of afghanistan. and steve coll, "the forever war." dexter sent me his book. usually books like that. i don't like trashy novels because i don't have the time to spend on them. i read another book by a journalist that i got in chicago when i was there and it was all about his mother who was a holocaust survivor and how he discovered after his father died he had to discover his mother's past. >> you don't do much fiction? >> no. i love fiction. >> you don't have the time for it. >> but there is nothing greater than being transported by a novel. nothing greater. that's one of the great pleasures of my life. and i was inspired by falkner, my dream as a young girl was to write a book like that and read over and over again and not have
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the same understanding twice. the shortest chapter written in history was, "my mother is a fish." this boy's mother had just died and he was fishing at the time. and that was how he related, how he understood it. "my mother was a fish." and that book was written through the eyes of somebody else and had to read the first 40 pages, 16 times and i thought how great to write a novel like that. that's what i want to do. >> can you imagine being finished with working on television? >> yes, i can. >> and what sort of life do you see yourself leaving then? >> hopefully my husband and i don't hate each other and we have our life to share. for me, i always had a restless
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soul and i don't pretend to know the meaning of life or have any grand ideas about the universe of the world of television and where it's going. but when my husband and i had children and had a family, the seas stopped shifting. first time i had that peace in me and i found the meaning in my life and that is much more important than television. as long as i can do work, written work, in television or anything else, that's all that i care about. you have to feel when you go to bed at the end of the day that you did something that meant something because otherwise, what's the point? >> that's something you feel every day, once a week, once a month? what would satisfy you, what ratio? >> i feel that every day. >> you really feel -- what is it that you learned something new in the course of a day that you helped somebody in the course of
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a day that you have disappointed people in the course of a day, what is it that carries you forward? >> i think what carries me forward is i'm always trying to do better. thing about journalism, i could work and i frequently go to work from 7:00 to 2:00, 3:00, 4:00. christmas, easter, birthdays, whatever it was, and i didn't do it for the promotion or the company. i didn't do it for minimum but myself, because the greatest experience you could ever have of life is in that job where they ask you to experience everything about life and then to try and understand and meant to communicate what it means. and it's the same with my children, if i get to the end of the day and be the best mom i could be and did everything that was expected of me that day, i don't care if i'm staggering into bed at 11:00 and my
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children were asleep hours ago, my son went to bed with the feeling of love and the moments we had before he closed his eyes. there's nothing to compare with that. >> that's marvelous. there are many young journalists in the audience and we've got just a couple of minutes left. and i'm wondering what kind of advice would you give them, because they face a journalism of enormous uncertainty? it seems to be finding a way forward rather difficult because of technological pressures, money pressures, what would you tell them? >> i would say that i have to believe that the one thing that will endure about journalism is that people demand to know the truth. whatever people think about the journalism profession, that at the end of the day, our society functions on the flow of information. if you believe in that, if you
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believe in the first amendment and what you are doing, i wouldn't worry about too much where it's going. find your niche and give everything you have. don't expect someone to do it for you, don't say i'm not going to do or that. you have to be prepared to do everything. i did sound, camera work, i drove cars, satellite editing. i did everything. i know what i believe in, i know who i am. i didn't get that from the three letters of a corporation. no greater honor in my life than working for "60 minutes," but they don't define my work. i try to live up to a standard, but it doesn't make me who i am. i'm going to be who i am with whatever job that i have. that is very important. don't take yourself very seriously. and the moment i start thinking i'm as important as "60 minutes," the worst journalists
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think they matter more than the story. i have no illusions about my place in the world, no illusions whatsoever. for me, achievement, if it's a woman in the middle of the bush in africa and told her story and no one watches it, what have i changed. but there is a record of history that now exists and that's what i'm doing it for. don't take no for an answer and people telling you you have to do it this way or that way. you can only do it on your own merits. and the harder you work and more you understand about what you're doing, people can't take that away from you. they can't make me insecure when they write stories about oh, she got the job because of her works. they can't make me insecure because i know it didn't come from there. i know nobody did me any favors.
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no one said here, let me make this easy for you. i don't have any aversion of slugging my guts out. and so, you know, people told me that i didn't have the right colored skin to be hired by a newspaper in south africa so i went to television. i went to my boss, who was a camera man. he couldn't write a sentence. i worked for nothing. i worked for what they were prepared to pay me. i interviewed for two years. i ate humble pie and never did it for anybody than myself. the hardest thing, the biggest problem you will have in this job is staying true to yourself. and i smiled. i said my problem is going to be keeping my mouth shut. this is who i am.
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that's the easy part. and that's because i know what i believe in. i'm prepared to stand up for that and i don't want people to think that is an easy thing. my mother said, for god's sake, do you have to choose the hard road everying will time? >> why. >> i would never say i'm not going to drive carefully or never speed. i said i'm going to -- of course i'm going to drive carefully. do you think i'm that kind of person? for me, it was an injustice for her to think i would do anything other than drive carefully because that's what was expected of me. i try to do what is expected of me and try to do the right thing and that's not always popular. before there were a lot of people didn't like what i said about coverage of the iraq war or stanley mcchrystal. and this isn't about me.
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i don't want opinion to overshadow the work because the work is really what matters. and you know, i just think that people who want to be on television, if you want to be tv if that's your aim, don't be a journalist. don't be a journalist. that's not the right job for you, because you are never going to be the journalist that you want to be. >> i'm really sorry that our time is up. i want to thank our wonderful audience for sitting here and enjoying this. i want to thank you lara logan for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us and keeping alive the flame of the free and vigorous press as being the best guarantor of a free and vigorous society. our time is up. good night and good luck. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we do have two microphones, one there and one there. and you can get to the microphone and ask a question. i'm going to insist, by the way, that it is a question, and not a speech. and i'll probably cut you off if it is a speech. but why don't we start that way. identify yourselves. >> george jay could be son, george washington university. you offered some pointed criticisms of our role in iraq and afghanistan, i'm curious about how you feel about our involvement in libya. >> libya is interesting because let's face it the only reason we went after gaddafi is because everybody hates him.
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doesn't mean what he was doing was wrong and the real question is what are we doing about syria because we have a different relationship with syria. the whole world is much more would haven and contemplated. and so of course there was a degree of hypocrisy in libya. not surprising. the world has been waiting for a chance to get rid of gaddafi. the real tragedy is that so many people are dying in syria and so little has been done about it. and you know, if i didn't have my situation, i guess that's what i would be trying to be, i would be on the border in lebanon. we are trying to find ways and inroads into that society that you can try and access from the outside, but i guess that i would say, i urge people not to focus on libya but look at libya
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in the context of syria and maybe that would be the story i would be pushing every day if i was doing daily news. >> would you see the u.s. involving itself militarily in syria? >> because of its situation with iran, it would be different. i don't think they have any intention of doing that. so i think it is extremely unlikely. can you ever rule anything out? you can't rule it out. >> yes, please. >> i'm a producer and editor here in the city and neighbor and acquaintance. congratulations on "medal of honor." january, 2007 was heavy for you. a lot of people may not know the story, could you unpack and say what you learned from hyper street. >> what i learned from hyper street was really quite interesting because hyper street was an area of central baghdad
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where al qaeda had been very, very entrenched. and all that was the iraqi government making a deal with the al qaeda and sunni leaders so the violence would appear to go dounch and would appear to have cleaned out-a street. and then what happened in january of>> there was a major o back to hyper street. the iraqi unit stationed there systematically raped, tortured, and murdered the people there to punish them for having al qaed a in their midst. in return, al qaeda slaughtered as many iraqis as they wanted to. we heard it the day in and day
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out. an iraqi physician who was a very lovely man and his family that were prisoners in the middle of the fighting in the midst of the fighting begging for help. i was trying to get the treaty to help them. actually, i found out from a friend of the u.s. ambassador who was a friend of the iraqi president. when i bumped into the ambassador, i asked him if he would help me with this family. once he publicly gave his word, he would be screwed. [laughter] we ended up going down hyper street with an iraqi unit. i had absolutely no idea because i had never met them and i had never been there. i knew there was a family that was eating dog food. they were living in the shower and with their children and
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everything. it was an interesting situation to be in, so i did everything i could and use of the leverage that i had. how they are arrested them -- they arrested them, that family. you're probably referring to the report that i did that had a graphic images showing both sides of the violence. people were talking to me about the rape and torture and everything that was going on. i have mentioned access video. cbs and didn't want to hear the report so i e-mail everyone i knew and said -- i e-mail the web people that were desperate for anything. they said that they would put it on and then i asked everyone to look at the report. whenever they felt about it, let cbs know. it was used by the left wing
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media first, how much they hated cbs. then the right wing decided they hated me, too. i was used as a political football for i don't know however the left was trying to skew the war. it had nothing to do with either of that. resent being used as a political football, but it was a decision by the editor that thought that the images were too graphic. i felt that they should be seen, but that is my job as a reporter. i am not the editor and i am never going to be. the big picture is not my strength, i am a reporter on the ground fighting for my story purine cbs had been -- but for my story. cbs had been extremely good for
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me. there is no evil man sitting there saying that we are going to go in this direction or another. it is a place of real journalism and that was one of the battles that did not go my way. i am never going to send a mass email again, i think. [laughter] george lindsay from washington university. thank you for being here tonight. as an embedded journalist and someone who tries to constantly -- how difficult is it to not get a emotionally invested in a story or a person you're covering? >> i get emotionally invested in every sense. it doesn't matter if you are and that it or not embedded -- embedded or not embedded.
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i think it is important to be emotionally invested. we were doing a story on 20 or 30 children separated from their parents and i came out of the building and crying. he said, you think that is bad, you will never make it in this business if you will be crying all the time. i thought, beep beep you. that is the person that i am. how do you cope with it? you cope by confronting it, not denying thit. i owe them honesty, integrity. that is a huge responsibility. i am not here to wave the flag on your behalf. i have a responsibility to you, but i have a responsibility to do iraqi people, their
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government, the u.s. government. i think it is important to be invested. how does try to hide that. i don't try to hold back. sometimes the only thing you have to get someone of yourself - -is your -- is yourself. you give them respect and understanding. people think that i am a big talker and not a big listener. that is one of the biggest mistake you can make. i am a better listener, actually. when i sit down, you have everything that i have. you have all of me. you owe people that. i will stay removed to be the objective third party. nonsense. how can you not be moved by somebody that some of furred -- suffered something incredible?
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>> thank you. yes, please. >> edward from sunshine press. thank you for or presence in your example. you spoke about the experts and academics that spoke to someone in the white house, and can you tell us as listeners and viewers about how to identify phony experts? it used to be that the good looking blondes were easy to spot. you and leslie stall came along. how do we spot these folks that don't know anything and are ripping reports? >> not every expert is phony. bruce reidell is one of the
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best voices on afghanistan. he has incredible experience and he is somebody that i turn to. there are some people that are -- some people that know a lot and have decades of experience. if you are a conscientious person that is always reading, you have to pay attention to the name and the institute. do they sit on the left or right? what is their motivation? how do you evaluate someone's motivation? how will they be saying that? if you don't have firsthand experience, it is very hard to know when someone is slipping into academia. they often know about something that you have no idea about. i don't have an easy answer for you. journalists have the time are
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lazy, we go back to the same people over and over again. you see a guy on cnn the noise the crap out of view, there is probably a good -- that annnoys the -- annoys the crap out of you, there is probably a good reason. if you are paying attention, you remember that. take it with a grain of salt half the time. a lot of these institutions are very clearly aligned with a different administrations and things like that. you have to be aware. it is tough. it is not an easy thing. >> you describe the graphic images that you saw in iraq? in the case of gaddafi or the death of bin laden, and you think the public should see the individual pictures as graphic
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as they are? do you think that is important? >> yes and no. it is laughable that people say that they don't see the body and it didn't happen. i know that this administration made the decision because they were afraid it would inspire lone wolf attacks. those ont he fen -- the fence, and those motivated to open up with a machine gun in times square. that is a decision made out of weakness and fear. i am not really sure that it is the strongest base for which you make a decision like that. does the world need to see a picture of his body? i find it incredible that when his wife was 14 years old when he married her and no one is calling him a pedophile. that is really the most
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abhorrent thing to have come out of this? it gives the conspiracy theorists and the ammunition they want. what does it say? do we really need to see it? there is an argument. and do you need to dance on his grave? that is was seeing the body means, right? i am not really sure. he the you have a right to see his body? does it serve a purpose? what is the greater purpose i am serving? and by making a name for myself by being the only person that has the story? that is a consideration that comes into your work that is important so i don't really have a good answer for you. i did not need to see his body. >> our last question, please. >> jonathan hellman, presently
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with cnn. this country has been here since the earliest days, i think it was edward r. murrow that brought to us live. we have seen everything happened so fast that it is instantaneous. with the internet and all of these different technologies, you can see how it assists what you do. at the found to be a hindrance in anyway? does it become harder for people to connect with your story when there is so much information brought to them at any given point? >> cnn doesn't play to my strength, being an instant expert. i've followed the northern island, i knew what happened there. it is a minefield. you call someone a name and it means something on the other
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side of the border. i did not feel -- i think thosee is a huge downside to the technology. at the same time, there is something great -- they have changed national security policy, they have changed the strategic relationships. the power of this is undeniable. you can't go backwards. this event is sponsored by the ethics and standards committee. where were they for twitter, facebook? they don't exist. that is egregious. you can start a blog and put any rumor you like out there.
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people think that the mainstream media is controlled and regulated, and that has not been my experience of it. i know without a doubt that there are standards and ethics that they try to live up to. this idea that special interest is served in the mainstream media, and the worst part is that they've put themselves out there as the true guardians of free speech. we are the ones that will give you the truth, not the evil, lying bastard in the media. there is underlying technology, a fascinating place they have madet the word. -- world. you can't put the genie back in the bottle. you have to live with it.
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there is a downside to the 24- hour news cycle. there is a blurring of opinion that just give people what they want to hear and don't worry about reporting real journalism. the part of it is depressing to me. i don't listen to it and i don't read it and i will shut it out. >> lara, you are a very special reporter, it has been a pleasure having you. i will let you go only if you promise to return. >> i promise. >> it's a deal. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, thank
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you for joining us tonight. i have a wonderful holiday season. we will see you in 2012. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> in a few moments, british prime minister david cameron on the g-20 summit. in a little more than an hour, a forum on the future of the so- called "arab spring." after that, the series on the military being affected by budget cuts. then we will be air the interview with -- re-air the interview with lara logan.
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a couple live events tomorrow morning. eric holder testifies in a justice department oversight hearing. members are expected to focus on operation fast and furious. at 10:00 c-span eastern. then the senate education committee hears from teachers from around the country as it considers the future of the elementary and secondary education act. >> this is the formal part of spelling out the declaration of candidacy. >> all you need is a signature on theire. >> this is the filing fee of $1,000. you might want to leave, we do
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this every four years. >> you have done a great job and you will do that for the next 40 or 50 years. it is a responsibility and an honor that new hampshire richly deserves and i am happy to be part of the process and put my name on this paper hoping that this time it will take and i will become the nominee of my party and hopefully the next president. >> the new hampshire primary is set for january 10. click on campaign 2012 to access the candidates and the events. all serachable, shara -- searchable, sharable, and free. >> next, british prime minister david cameron on dg-27 and the
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ongoing financial crisis in the eurozone. members of parliament asked about britain's finances. this is a little more than an hour. >> statement for prime minister. >> with permission, mr. speaker, i would like to make a statement on last week's 27. -- g-20 sommut. there was an agreement on the action plan for growth and jobs agreeing to do specific things in order to maximize growth in the world economy. they continued with the work to identify and remove key obstacles for growth. imbalances between the deficit countries, improving global governance and protecting the world's poorest from economic problems. ain issue of instability in the eurozone. first, the action plan for
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growth and jobs but it includes many things britain is already doing from fiscal consolidation and monetary action to removing the barriers in the wake of business and job creation. the g-20 recognized yet again the importance of implementing "clear, credible, and specific measures." it is clearly identified a group of countries to have the space to borrow for additional discretionary measures. i have to tell any members of the house who want to see the u.k. borrow more, no one was proposing u.k. should be in this group of countries. [laughter] with ourermined to do debt. and the need to press on with our plan for consolidation has been recognized by the g-20 as well as the imf o and theecd. the imbalances which did so much damage in the run-up to 2008 are growing again. this matters because it's clear to maximize global growth and avoid some of the spigot of baubles of the past, countries with a trade surplus need to increase the best in sure they
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keep their markets open. those with the trade deficit have to understand -- undertake structural form to improve competitiveness. russia is making changes to its foreign exchange regime. china agreed to increase its exchange rate flexibility. both are reflected in the communique could more needs to be done. the greatest mistake the global economy could do is a slide toward protectionism. the report sets out of the protectionist measures that have been taken in g-20 countries over the last year. these are a cause for concern. the g-20 reaffirmed its pledge not to take protectionist action, committed to roll back any protectionist measures that may have arisen, and reaffirmed his determination to refrain from competitive devaluation of currency. we welcome that russia is set to become a member of the wto by the end of the year. i have said it is time to
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working with groups of countries to drive new trade deals. together with five other g-20 leaders, i wrote to president sarkozy ahead of the summit to call for new approaches to trade liberalization. that was agreed. on improving global governance, i presented the report i am replacing -- i am placing library today which secured a group of the key proposals. the g-20 should continue as a flexible gathering rather than a reordering. what is the it is not new institutions but political will. we should make the now establish financial stability board a separate legal body to give it the authority and ability that it needs. worshippers -- which should strengthen the wto's role. further progress was made on cracking down on tax havens, tax evasion, and a proper regulatory system for banks to make up for the woeful system that existed
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in summit countries including hours over the last decade. on development, bill gates cover presentation suggesting was a mobilizing resources to help the world's poorest. it included helping some developing countries help themselves through proper systems for collecting taxes and transparent ravenous for natural resources. he gave strong support to the uk's on record on the development agenda. on the financial transactions tax, we are not opposed in principle to such a tax if one can be agreed of the global level. but we will not unilaterally introduce a new financial transaction tax in the u.k. neither will we support the introduction in the european union unless it is part of a global move. britain has introduced a bank levee and we are meeting our global agreement on overseas aid. if other countries want to introduce new financial taxes at home including to raise revenue for development, that is for them to decide. what they should not do is try
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to hide behind proposals for an eu tax as an excuse or political inaction and meeting targets whether that is for spending on developments or climate change. mr. speaker, the current proposals for financial transactions tax in europe are so deeply confused the different european countries and institutions have talked about spending and revenues of such a tax in five different ways. development, climate change, social policy, resolving the banking crisis, and the best way to supplement the eu budget. i would say that would be a stretch, even for robin hood. [laughter] let me turn to the problems in eurozone. it is clearly in our national interest for the eurozone to sort out its problems. the biggest single boost to the british economy this autumn of the lasting resolution to the eurozone crisis. that is why britain has been pressing to act not just at the
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g-20, but for many months. the deal and brussels 10 days ago was welcome progress. it reflected the three essential elements of britain has been calling for. first, reinforcing the bailout fund by eurozone countries to create a proper fire wall against contagion. second, recapitalization of weak european banks. third, a decisive resolution to the unsustainable position of greece paused debt. the euro area countries need to do what is possible to implement the agreement urgently. the rest of the world can play a supporting role. in the end, the work has eurozos themselves. no one else can do it for them. britain will not contribute to the eurozone bailout fund whether that is the efsf or special purpose vehicle. while the imf may administer funds, it will not contribute to it. the imf does have a vital role to play in supporting countries
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but across the world that are in serious economic distress. 53 countries currently being supported by the imf of which only three, greece, ireland, and portugal, are in the eurozone. it is essential that the imf have the resources that it needs. at the g-20, britain, the u.s., china, and all the other countries around the table made clear we are willing in principle to see an increase in imf resources to boost global confidence. there is agreement about the timing, extent, or exact method for this to be done. britain stands ready to contribute the limits agreed by this house. those who propose we walk away from the imf or who even oppose the increase in imf resources agreed by the last government, are not acting responsibly or in the best interests of britain. it is in our national interest that countries across the world that are in distress are supported in their efforts to recover. the collapse of our trading
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partners, whether in the eurozone or not, would have a serious impact on our economy. businesses would not invest. jobs will be lost. families would be poorer. through the imf, we can help other countries in a way that does not affect our own public finances. it is for the eurozone and the ecb, european central bank, to support the euro. global action cannot be a substitute for concrete action by the eurozone. the g-20 withheld specific imf commitment at this stage precisely because he wanted to see more concrete action from eurozone countries to make the fire wall credible and stand behind their currency. the world sent a clear message to eurozone at this summit -- sort yourselves out and then we will help, not the other way around. mr. speaker, these are difficult times for the global economy. the government is focused on one objective -- help britain weather the storm and safeguard our economy. because of the tough situations
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with taken to get to grips with deficit, britain has awarded the -- avoided the worst at this stage of the global debt crisis. in 2008, u.k. bond yields were about the same as those increase. today, although we of the second highest deficit in the eu behind ireland, are bond yields are almost the same as in germany and around the lowest they have been since world war ii. this is because we have a credible plan to deal with our debt and a resolve to see it through. the situation in italy further emphasizes the need for a credible plan to deal with debt. the eurozone must do what is necessary and see through the agreement reached in brussels 10 days ago. britain and all are g-20 partners will continue to press for this to happen. i commend this statement to the house. >> mr. speaker, can ithank the prime minister? i have to say, what a complete
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in a statement from and out of touch, nestor. anybody listening to him would think the g-20 summit had been a great success, but it was not, mr. speaker. a me ask him about the three areas where the summit should have made progress. the eurozone, reforming our banking system, and economic growth. on the eurozone, the chancellor in its september, the resin has six weeks to resolve this political crisis. the six weeks is up. mr. speaker, there is no clear solution on financing. how much, from whom, and what circumstances. none of those questions are being answered. the crisis in greece is spreading to italy and no plan for jobs and growth, just more austerity. can the prime minister tell us, why european and g-20 leaders failed to get this solution on
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the eurozone customer the chancellor told us from france he in the prime minister word " right at the heart of the discussion." progress that was made in the summit, and always with his prime minister, failure has nothing to do with him. [laughter] mr. speaker, does he not regret he did not try harder and earlier to engage in the discussion and push for an agreement rather than standing aside income in britain was a safe haven? mr. speaker, can he say what responsibility he takes for the failure on ? given the importance this has for britain, can he tell us specifically what he plans to do in the coming days to get an agreement? let me turn to the funding for the imf. the prime minister said on friday and again today, you cannot ask the imf or other
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countries to substitute for action that needs to be taken within the eurozone itself. we agree with that. it should not be done to make up for inadequate eurozone actions. the prime minister has said he would not support the direct use of imf resources to top off the europeans financial stability fund. but can he categorically ruled out imf resources being used in directly and parallel to make up for insufficient funding from the efsf? can he square his position with the commitment to the imf within agreed resources with the comments of the managing director of the imf that there's no cap, no ceiling on imf resources? let me turn to banking reform, specifically the global financial transaction act which we support and believed to be implemented if we can reach
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agreement and all the major financial centers. it was on the agenda in france, but no real progress was made but i have to say, i cannot tell from his statement was the prime minister supporting it and not opposed in principle, hardly a ringing endorsement mr. speaker, i do not think we should be surprised if it a week before the summit negotiations even started, the chancellor was running the business leaders, casting doubt on whether any such mechanism and a sufficient way to raise revenue. can the prime minister tell us if he argued for a global financial transaction tax at the summit? can he tell us what steps he will be taking in the weeks and months ahead to advance his cause? let me turn to growth. the first paragraph of the communique says "since our last meeting, global recovery has weakened particularly in advanced countries living unemployment and unacceptable levels." that is certainly true in this
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country, mr. speaker, where growth has flat line and unemployment is at a 17-year high. does the prime minister understand why people are so disappointed by the failure of this summit? the prime minister talks about trade and imbalances. mr. speaker, action on trade imbalances will take years to the employment. he also mentioned undertaking by various countries to take action. but it is an important point in the communique that these will only be implemented if "global economic conditions materially worsen." people around the country will be wondering, how much worse does it need to get? he says, by the way, nobody is arguing for britain to take a course but the imf last month said if the british community under shoots, the chancellor
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should continue. the prime minister said after the april 20,009 g-20 summit, the glens and glamour of this week must keep remote to the small businessman who still trying to secure credit or a mother worrying if she can keep a roof over her children's heads. mr. speaker, the 2009 g-20 summit succeeded and this one failed. for the young person unemployed, for the business with goods disappearing, for people leaving the high street, this summit achieved precisely nothing. that is why the prime minister looks so out of touch when he climbs the some admitted difference on growth. but isn't the real problem is, the prime minister does not really believe we need a global plan? he used to cram the austerity is an home.
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people wanted action from the summit and they did not get it. -- people. this is a to nothing summit from deeply complacent prime minister out of touch with the real needs of our economy. >> i do not know who writes his rubbish. i like 20 quoted my response from the 2009 summit. if the 2009 summit was such a success, why did the labor party vote against one of its key conclusions in the house of commons to increase imf resources? he talks about regulating banks with no recognition of the field regulatory system that he oversaw for a decade. he talks about the eurozone wita
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national changeover plan to get the whole of britain to adopt the euro. mr. speaker, above all, let us be clear if we listen to his advice, we would not have been in france talking about a greek bailout, but at the imf discussing a british bailout. let me remind him of those figures. in 2008, greek bond yields and british bond yields for both 4.5%. in the u.k. since then, they have halved. in greece, they are up six times. that is because they did not have a credible policy for deficit-reduction and we do. mr. speaker, let me come back to the issue of the imf. what we're seeing is breathtakingly irresponsible. about theirar position on the imf and remember this is an organization founded
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by britain where we are a leading shareholder, rescued us from labor in the 1970's, and their position is first to vote against the increase in resources agreed by the g-20 under their own government. they called it a triumph at the time, yet trip to the division office and a complete display of opportunism. it gets worse. now they are saying they do not want imf resources for any eurozone country are they saying they want to take money off ireland, off portugal? they would have turned up at the summit where every country was talking about increasing imf resources, and would have said on no account would britain support that he meant how ridiculous. they are saying to eurozone countries who contribute to the imf, you're never allowed to seek its assistance. i thought if they meant this, i would take it seriously. this is all about politics.
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they are putting the politics ahead of the economics. we know that is the case with the chancellor. he only thinks about the politics. the question for the liver of the labor party, are you a better politician than that? i am afraid the answer is no. >> did chancellor merkel to my hon. friend wants the european central bank is not fully discharging its duties -- its duty as the euro's lender of last resort not providing massive quantitative easing, not moving toward near zero interest rates, not urging president sarkozy to read nationalize the leading french banks before the credit crunch closes on france?
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because chancellor merkel knows very well bid was ninth inflation, but high unemployment dollar-it was not inflation, but high unemployment. >> my friend speaks powerfully about this issue. he is right we must not allow or permit the imf to substitute for what the european central bank and the other institution of the european union need to do. that is vital. that was one of the reasons why in the end, all the countries of the world that were prepared to see an increase in imf resources wanted to see more done by the eurozone and the ecb. i have discussed this with the chancellor. the huge hole back there is in germany about what the central bank is and what it should do.
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i believe as it says in the communique, you've got to have the institutions of the eurozone fully behind the currency in order to save it. >> understandably the prime minister is putting on a brave face of what happens last week. with regard to growth, with regard to the prison crisis which is as bad now as it was a few days ago. icn on reports the g-20 is planning to meet again perhaps as early as the remaining part of this year or the beginning of next year. is that right? with the prime minister be reminded no summit is better than a failure of the g-20 may be not perfect, but cannot afford another meeting where a singularly fails to come up with the answer. >> i think he is right could meetings that do not have a proper conclusion cannot add to the problem rather than solve the problem read what is required is the political will for eurozone countries to act.
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i was very clear after the g-20 meeting, it had not achieved a breakthrough on the euro. some progress has been made in terms of establishing the three elements that need to be put in place. but much more has to be done. there may well may be a meeting of g-20 finance ministers. i agree, it is progress and his resolution of these issues that is required, rather than another meeting. >> given the intense interest in the same on the fact or to further statements to follow,-- >> implementation of the financial transaction tax would reduce gdp in the euro area of 1.8% of gdp. this would hit the u.k. disproportionately hard at a time when we need more growth, not less. does he not agree of all times now is not the proper moment to consider such a controversial
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measure? >> i think it is important for people to see the european report on the transaction tax which shows the figures he talks about, that it would cost jobs. if you can achieve global agreement for a tax of this nature, there would be a case for it. it is very hard to see that happening. i think of focus on politicians in europe should meet the promises that are made about development rather than hide behind a financial transaction tax they know is very unlikely to come into being. >> can i say to the prime minister the frustration and impatience expressed on thursday and friday last it was extremely well merited and would be as well he came here and repeated the concern he had about the failure of leadership across europe at this final time a bank isn't a tragedy in that context when europe needs a voice for reform, for example, on budgetary policy, he has dealt
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himself on of the game with the focus on the repatriation of powers which frankly is not the issue, to make or break the economy? >> i do not agree with the gentleman on that issue for this reason. i have managed to assemble a coalition for budgetary restraint in the european union. this year, britain, france, germany and others have all agreed to freeze the eu budget. i would like to go further proof a freeze in the budget in real terms is not something we have been able to achieve in recent years. i do not accept looking at rebalancing powers in europe and fighting for a deal on the budget you can do both. >> given the fact single markets including the city of london, a majority vote, how does the prime minister proposing to achieve a majority to protect our interests in the context of the fiscal union he is advocating? >> first of all, you need to
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disconnect the two issues for a first of all, the issue of the single market and the threat to the city of london and to britain's financial-services is a real threat. we have to work extremely hard to build alliances in the single market, in the european council, the stock directives that are going to damage. it is one of the areas to want to make sure we can better safeguard in the future. i do not support a fiscal union in that i do not think britain should join in fiscal union. when you have a single currency that is frankly quite dysfunctional, one of the ways it could be made more functional is for a greater fiscal union. that is just a statement of fact rather than saying we wanted in new way to join in. we do not. we want to safeguard the interests of britain by making sure the single market works for us. >> is it really in the best
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long-term interest of this country for the government to consistently present the united kingdom as the neighbor from hell in regard to the european union? the issues the european union wish to spend money on are the issues which his constituents and my citizens around the world wish to see spent on will he change his mind on this issue? >> the fact is, this government and the government she has supported has made and kept promises about things my development, like climate change. in terms of being a good neighbor, i have to say, one of the most and they're really ask you can take is when the whole world is looking at -- the un neighborly is to walk away and vote against it.
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summer public ashamed of, not only a good neighbor, but on a northern planet. >> -- but on another planet pretty >>, economist to tell me what -- offering subsidized loans to head off the crisis in the market? >> because i to the question the father of the house ask which is about the actions of the ecb. the ecb has been intervening and markets and of borrowing bonds of countries that are under pressure. that is what makes this a difficult to understand why some in europe are so opposed to the ecb and more of a monetary activist, if i could put it that way. everyone to be careful about speculating about another country. but italy has got to demonstrate it has a credible fiscal path.
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it is not about the confidence of the markets said it will be a to pay its deficit, pay its debt. if it can do it, its interest rates will fall. >> exit from the arizona is clearly in view. -- an exit from the eurozone is clearly in the print until the states can retrieve their own national currencies find appropriate characters, they will not recover? >> >> it is an issue the greeks have to decide themselves. they have been offered a deal which can write down their debt and state and a single currency. their decision to take that road or take another road for the only thing i would say to members of the house who are deeply skeptical about a single currency of which i am one is that which should be very careful and recognizing that country's leading a single currency can cause all sorts of
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defects and problems for other economies including our on. we should not see this as some sort of painless, easy option for a country to fall out of the euro. it would have very real consequences for other countries including our own. >> mr. simon hughes. >> given the role of big banks played triggering the present financial crisis, can the prime minister tell us what progress he made with the countries in the g-20 to follow example set by the proposal we recommended to break up the bank that is too big to fail so no economy or the big financial institutions can hold a gun to the state and the taxpayer? >> obviously, many people will comment on the ultimate failure of the g-20 to resolve the crisis but the g-20 has made good steps forward in areas like trying to roll back protectionism and on the issue about globally significant
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financial institutions and the impact they can have and the recommendhe vicar's is totally in thune. >> does the prime minister realize that the british people listening to this that this british prime minister is suggesting a growth plan for italy, spain, and portugal well here at home, he sticks rigidly to high inflation and massive unemployment. ? >> that probably sounded better and from the mayor then when he got into the chamber. [laughter] >> would you agree that one of the single biggest filips would be breaking the deadlock over the doha agreement?
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would this make progress on this issue under the mexican presidency? >> thank you for that question. the point about doha is it is not progressing in the way it was meant to. there is a gridlock among the developing countries and countries like america that don't see enough. it seems to be the only way forward if we want to see more global trade deals that are good for all those participating is to have coalitions of the willing, countries that want to push ahead, and that as what -- is what has been sanctioned at the g20. >> greece, spain, and portugal are already insolvent within the european monetary unit. none of these countries are likely to regain their competitiveness. do you think it would be better for the imf [unintelligible] >> you make an important point
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but it is not necessarily fair to lump all of this country's together. some of them like italy have huge budget deficits in terms of debt to gdp ratio. they have managed to compete within single currencies. i'm not sure you aware you group the country together is entirely fair. report role of the imf is not to support a currency system. it is not to support the euro zone. the imf has to be there for countries that are in distress. that is why everyone in this house supported the imf program that went into ireland. a win in as a partner oof countries. -- it went in as a partner of countries. it would be extraordinary to say to euros on countries that you are shareholders but you cannot get money when you are in
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distress. that would be an extraordinary position but one that seems to have the support of the labor front bench. >> it has been a policy for 300 years to avoid financial conflict on the continent. the imf will have enormous powers over us and not have influence over their. >> we are suffering at the moment from a single currency that we are not a member of the spot that has some serious structural issues and faults. in our interests, those faults are resolved. one way of helping to resolve those faults would be to for a greater cooling of fiscal among the people who are members. i never supported the single currency. i don't think we can stick with
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the status quo where we have a single currency but it is having a chilling effect on our economy and not seeking a resolution. >> a few years ago, the president of yemen was invited to the g-20. since then, it has the third highest malnutrition rate in the world. what additional help kenyon and be given as a result of the g-20 meeting. >> -- what additional help can yemen be given as a result of the g-20 meeting? >> we have not given any imf money yet. there was no agreement as to how much. the world stood ready to support the imf. the imf has supported countries like yemen in the past. we put in development aid to yemen. the biggest challenge in yemen is lack of effective governance. what bill gates was talking about is that proper assistance for raising taxes and proper systems for transparency in government revenues and revenues
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in terms of extracting industries and in minerals. those are the keys to helping countries like yemen. >> back in july, the hon. member told the members of this house that we have an agreement of 20 billion imf obligations. we hear is closer to $40 billion per accou. ministers have an obligation to be absolutely straight as to what they plan to do with other people's money. >> let me be absolutely clear about this -- there are two sorts of money that the u.k. provides to the imf. there is money through our quota, our shareholding, and money through loans and other arrangements for there have been three votes in the past three years all the elements of this imf money in this house. if it comes to extra support for the imf, we want to do that
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within realistic boundaries. >> aren't we really dealing with a sophisticated form of russian roulette? on the one hand, we are told by the prime minister that he does not think it is right for countries with in the urals and to have funding cut off from the imf but on the other hand, he says at this stage there would be no additional money for the imf. when will this stage be right for the additional imf money? >> there are 53 i-map programs around the world. only three of them are enduros are in effect in it euro is done. the countries have to sort out the problems of the euro. they need that fire wall and europe has to provide it. they need that recapitalization. they need the demonstrable and clear right down and greet death. those are things they have responsibility for. we have responsibility as a
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shareholder to bulk up finances at the right moment. it is just very sensible economic policy. >> what advice have you received on failing to pay our imf conscriptions? >> you make a very good point. i am not entirely sure what would have happened if we turned up at the g-20 having voted down the g20 deal from london about increasing the imf resources. therefore, we would not have implemented one of the key findings of the last g-20 and would have turned up and said we are not prepared to see an increase in our funding for anything else. britain would have been completely isolated and left out. the reason the opposition party talks about that is because it is all about the cost -- politics and not the economics. they know it. >> the prime minister said the
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u.k. would not fund the efsx. there are two new powers proposed for it to ensure newly issued sovereign debt and to spin out investment trusts to buy that desperate i don't think the prime minister's government believes that power will be enough. >> i think there are still real difficulties with the esfs or send out of the year as a meeting 10 days ago. since then, we have not seen enough details about how exactly these funds would work, how they would be levered out because you need to have a bazooka to convince people you would not have to use it. that is what the euro zone needs to do and they have not yet completed that work. >> i now appeal to single short
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supplementary questions. dr. julian lewis -- >> why does the prime minister seemed to think the greeks will be anymore successful at staying in the euro then we were at trying to remain in the ers? >> one of the few advantages of the ern was that we could get out of it and one issue with the euro is that there is not a mechanism legally for leaving the euro. if a country wanted to leave the europe, it could. this is an issue for the greeks. they have to decide if they accept the deal that is on the table and stay in the euro or do they take a different path. i have been making the point that they have to make up their minds for the rest of the world to move on. >> there is a discussion about
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the on countable power of the rating agencies to decide massive country's welfare. and in control of the banking system rather than battling down to it? >> there were concerns expressed about the role of the rating agencies and the way they are regulated. sometimes it comes from politicians who have had a particularly rough time with the ratings agency and it is important use organizations like fsb to make sure we get these answers are right. >> we must have contingency plans. if the euros on principle. do you agree that parliament must be given an early opportunity to scrutinize the adequacy of these contingency plans? >> i think it is quite a
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difficult task. there is important work going on on contingency plans but the more we discuss and speculate about the nature of another country's currency and economy, the more we could be damaging their own interests. i think it may be difficult to air some of these issues in public. >> the imf currently gets 32.4 billion sdr, pounds to the euro zone to prop it up. how can you justify giving more british taxpayers' money to the imf when there are people starving in africa and people cannot pay their heating bills in england. >> no country has ever lost money and lending it to the imf. the imf is a vital institution in a globalized world to support countries that get into deep economic distress.
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if we were to walk away and see trading partners weather in the euro zone or not collapse, that would mean british jobs lost. it might give you a five-second sound bite on the news to give you a political advantage but it would be completely useless. >> the matter of greece remaining in the tourism -- remaining in the euro zone is a great decision. will you take time to read the paper that point said that europe as a whole and the united kingdom, our economy will be growing faster in two years' time if the breaks up that if we try to keep it going? >> i have seen reports and perhaps i will have time this evening to read it at greater leisure. you can look at the economic experts and what they say but there is quite a strong consensus that in a single currency zone, when you have
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very interrelated banks and businesses, that the consequences of the country falling out of that is very serious for all members concerned. if that happens, we will have contingency plans in place and manage them as best we can. i don't think anyone however sceptical they are about the euro should think there is an easy way for a country to lose. >> now that critz will have a new government that will ratify -- now that the greeks will have a new government to ratify the agreement and a group of 20 is informal, would it not be appropriate whether this agreement will allow them to get together and put together a fire wall under the nicolas sarkozy presidency? >> it may be necessary for the g-20 finance ministers to meet again. that should only be the case if actually a new set of arrangements are being put in
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place. part of the problem we have in europe is often meetings are scheduled but without a proper amount of thought about what is going to be the outcome and what will be the achievement. that has been one thing that has caused a huge amount of market turbulence over recent months. >> the e.u productivity is falling at a faster rate since 2009. the only big economy to record an expansion per worker -- per worker is the u.k.. why do think the united kingdom can sustain a 5% interest rates? >> in terms of actually getting a greater competitiveness across europe, this is the most important thing that europe could be doing right now, completing a single market, complete -- competing in the market in energy and services.
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the point you make about the bond market is vital. if you don't have credibility, you cannot borrow money at this rate edit you don't have credibility, interest rates go up and that would be the worst thing to hit your economy. >> the prime minister has argued to support the european union which is not a prefer this country. in order to bring stability to europe and the world. how many more failures will it take and how many more summits before he argues for what is really right for europe, for those countries to return to their original currencies? >> i have sympathy with your points. they could go in that direction but if you talk to other european prime ministers or finance ministers or people in the countries, they don't want to leave the euro. they want to make the euro work. i think it is right that we are affected by what is happening in
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the europe zone. it is in our interest that they get back together and make that currency work. you could argue for the opposite but the fact is, that is what most european countries want and i think they will try to achieve. >> maybe the prime minister will remember september 16, 1992 when the united kingdom started our economic recovery why is the political elite of europe did not increase in other europe countries the same method to improve their economy while withdrawing from the euro and re-establishing their national currency? >> i learned an important lesson which is never fixed your interest rates in a way like that that when you need a change in your economy without applying elsewhere. that is why i am so completely opposed to britain ever joining the european i could not be
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clearer about that. we've got to allow other countries to make their own choices. the choice of people in greece seems to be that they want to stay in the euro. i would not necessarily make that choice but that is the choice they seem to make and have to support them in the choice they make. >> mr. speaker, a new report came out that shows that 32,000 jobs in the public sector were lost in the northeast last year while the number of private- sector jobs went down as well. why should they? in in the euro destroy the regions of this country? >> of course, there has to be a rebalancing in our economy in terms of public sector jobs and
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private sector jobs. there are difficult circumstances faced by different parts of the country. in the northeast, we have seen the expansion and we have the new train going into the northeast. we need to become more competitive to start manufacturing and making things again which would benefit all regions of our country. >> wouldn't countries like france do more to help developing countries if france met its own u.n. target for international relations rather than absorbing the un targets to sign up for a financial transaction tactics? >> some other countries in europe are using the cover of a financial transaction tax to get away from the fact they have not met their target for overseas development assistance. all the figures about the
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financial transactions, 80% of it would be raised from businesses in the united kingdom. i'm sometimes tempted to ask the french if they want a cheese tax. [laughter] >> the european central bank is been told to sit on its hands by the germans. it was the marshall plan [unintelligible] >> the european central bank is independent. no one is able to tell it what to do. obviously, i think there is a very strong case for euros and institutions that need to do more to stand behind the currency. we have to understand why it is the germans feel as strongly as they do. it is partly based upon the history and what they feel went
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wrong in the 1920's and 1930's. the argument that the ecb and institutions need to make is right. >> do you agree that if we were to listen to the party opposite ease up but our deficit reduction strategy, our interest rates would soar toward levels of its elite? italy? what is that likely to cost and increase to payments? >> it is not just the extra interest payments that the government would have to pay although that would be pretty kraepelin, it you would see those higher interest rates affect business investments and affect the mortgages that people pay. you could see a bad effect on households and businesses as well as on the government finance, tiberi of >too. >> when will we produce a jobs for plan and growth?
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>> it is worth while and why the g20 process is worthwhile is different countries are committed to do different things at the same time to maximize global growth. it is clear that britain needs to get on top of its debt and deficit and export more. it is also clear that china needs to grow its consumption and grow its middle-class and import more. it would do these things at the same time, we can maximize global growth and increase employment levels, too. >> i agree that the u.k. should not be contributing to any further euros own bailout fund. how can you pay taxpayers be certain that our contributions to the imf will not be used for such a purpose when the u.k. has only 4.29% of the votes in the governing body? >> the imf has the extremely tough and clear rules about when it can and cannot lend money.
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that is why it cannot nor would we support putting money into a bureau bailout fund. that is not the role of the imf. that must be the role of esfs/ . the imf can lend money and all countries in distress but no country has ever lost money on the landing to the imf. >> the prime minister keeps talking about rebalancing the economy. we have seen a 25% reduction in the value of the pound which should have made it competitive yet the private sector is simply not taking up the slack and not doing so because there is no confidence out there. don't we need something else to build confidence? >> the worst thing we can do for competency is abandon the plan to deal with our debt and deficit. you can see what is happening in
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countries like italy that don't have a proper plan. that have higher interest rates at all the problems that brings. you are right to say we have had a depreciation in our currency that should lead us to be more competitive. if you'll look at our export figures, we are seeing a good increase in exports. tomy constituents don't want pay taxes to bail out the euro. can the prime minister remind us who got this country into the permanent europe sss ander got us out of it? >> none of our constituents want to pay taxes to bail out the euro is on. that is not what our taxes should go toward. there was the european financial stability mechanism which we were part of and i got us out of that. we are still at risk of that because of a bad decision agreed
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to buy the last government. >> if continues to fail to deal with the crisis, what will the prime minister do to be set the uk? >> we have to put in contingency plans for any of these countries leaving the bureau's own. for obvious reasons, if you start describing exactly what you can do, you would set off chain reactions. if you want to discuss with a treasury minister probably the elements of any plan, i'd say you are at liberty to do so. >> the understanding that greece or italy or anyone else leading the bureau's own would require a treaty change. >> i believe you are right. there is nothing in the treaty that allows a member to leave the bureau's own. my sense is or that to happen, some sort allowance would be made. it would involve, at some stage,
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a treaty change to make sure it was legal. >> the prime minister suggested he is in favor of a global financial transaction tax. that will only happen on a global basis of people take that seriously what action steps the prime minister to look at cannes summit to promote this? >> i spoke on this at the sessions. i said we supported it at a global level. sitting around that table are other european countries and european institutions including the european commission who have spent this money several times over. women talk about the european budget, is a great way to raise -- when we talk about the european budget, it is great to talk about that. climate change talk seems to
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cover all the climate change changes and that is not really the case. >> it is likely that the chinese conditions for buying into euros then -- into yours and debt which would be directly against national interests in defense. given that requires the unanimous decision by all eu member states, could the prime minister confirm that should that be required that the u.k. government would veto that request? >> we don't support the lifting of the arms embargo. in the discussions at the g-20, there was no sort of shopping list from the chinese. clearly, it is in the interest of china as it is in ours, that the bureau's own crisis it dealt with. china has a huge export market in europe and china on huge amounts of european debt. this is the reason why china,
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like britain, subscribes to the imf and will support an increase in its resources. >> the prime minister said the actions on jobs include many things that broadness it is already doing. -- that britain is already doing. how many minutes were spent talking about these? >> a great deal of the first day was spent talking about the condition of the world economy and particularly the fact that economies in the developed world are seeing very low rates of growth. i also had a meeting with his leader of thetuc and other trade unionist to discuss specifically the issue of growth and jobs and how we can. -- prevent youth unemployment rising. i don't know of my predecessors found time for these meetings but i was delighted to have one. >> the prime minister, did you
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see any evidence that the g-20 that it is a fanciful notion to expect china to bail out europe? >> i would not underestimate the huge pressure that the bureau's own leaders are under to come up with a solution to the crisis in the euro is shown very clearly, there are huge ideological differences. completely outs of the question the other countries like china or saudi arabia might want to contribute to the euro zone fund. the rest would be taken by the bureau's own money and not by the chinese or other money. in the end, there is no substitute for the year rose an acting first to sort out its difficulties. >> who were the country's persuaded by the prime minister
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that they had to borrow for further discretionary measures? >> there is a list and the action plan for growth and jobs and that says which countries could borrow more. there are countries such as canada and china and others. >> will the prime minister reassure the house that he will not take the advice of the hon. gentleman opposite to increase the deficit to artificially boost growth because the consequent rise in interest rates and inflation would cause enormous damage to small businesses and families right across this country? >> you are absolutely right. we went to the g20 summit arguing for a $20 billion a pound increase this year, at the same time, we would say that we would get out of the imf, they
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would conclude that we are completely barky. >> wouldn't it be better for us to help the greeks to default now rather than later? >> we have argued very consistently that part of any solution has to be a very decisive writing down agreed to death. they cannot afford the debt they currently have. that is the plan they offered some have said that is not even enough. unless you write down the debt significantly, you may not have a proper solution. >> you have rightly argued that fixing the euro zone is good for euros own countries. you have announced that we are making contingency plans because of that failure? >> it is difficult to say more
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about it in the house. i will discuss this with the treasury minister whether we can say more. these plans would have to be very wide ranging and cover all sorts of different eventualities. >> does the prime minister have an asset -- an estimate the great britain would occur from the fund that was supported by the last labor government? >> we have managed to keep out of the european elements of the great bellsouth. that has said two iterations and we were not involved in the first we were not involved in the second. -- idea ofc of i'd using a efsm was announced by britain. >> one of the key issues is
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bureaus and knees to recapitalize a number of banks that are quite weak. can you talk about the relative strength of u.k. banks? >> on the current plan for the recapitalization, british banks would not require any additional capital. they are already quite capitalized. there is a concern that as the europeans moved to recapitalize their bags, it is important that they don't do that purely by shrinking bank balance sheets but to make sure that landing does not decrease in the european union. >> we know the danger of ignoring the political reality of the current situation. setting the euro at any cost is in the long term interest of journey but not necessarily that of the taxpayers of the united kingdom. surely, the ecb must be the
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lender of last resort. >> i think the point about the future of the bureau, we should take a very hard view of this. all the evidence is that a discipline to break up of the year would have very bad effects on all the economies within europe and would have bad effects on britain. you could make longer-term arguments about what it might mean but in the short run, there is no doubt that when we try to secure growth and jobs in this country, a disorderly breakup of the european zone would not be good for britain. >> i would like to thank the prime minister for the thoughtful and constructive leadership he offered at the g- 20. the debate has been quite narrow around greece over in recent weeks. what is the prime minister's interpretation of the situation in italy? >> we should be careful not to speculate on other countries.
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we see the requirements that those that are lending money to italy want to see a clear and consistent plan with getting on top of their deficits and when they see that, interest rates will come back down again. it is a lesson to any country that if you don't have credibility in the market, york interest rates could go up. >> do you agree that the u.k. already has a financial package? >pact? >> one point that bill gates made to me is that if other european countries introduced their own shares, they might find that they can get to the 9.7% of gdp. having it -- without >> david cameron will answer
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more questions tomorrow when he stepped -- testifies before the liaison committee. you can watch it online at 11:00 a.m. eastern. in a few moments, the future of the so-called arab spring. then a series on the military looks at how the marine corps might be affected by budget cuts. and an interview with lara logan. the and the ongoing financial crisis in the eurozone. on washington journal, the washington times correspondent bill taking your questions. then a look at voter laws with hans von spakovsky.
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our series on the military continues with major-general james holmes looking at plans to cut jobs. he will also discuss the air force program and its role in afghanistan. live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> i want you all to know, those of you who were disappointed, that i am doing the right setting. >> i believe that 1984 finds the united states in is the strongest position in years to establish a working relationship with the soviet union. >> your source for online public affairs. there is a new way to access our programming. download mp3 audio. take c-span with you on your iphone or any portable device. listen what you want, where you
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want. >> day forum on the future of the era spring led by former secretary of state madeleine albright. it includes panelists from libya and bahrain. the moderator is the president and ceo walter isaacson. >> good evening, and welcome to the ronald reagan building international trade center. my name is john drew. i am president and ceo of this facility, on behalf of the general services administration. i would like to take this opportunity to welcome today's esteemed speakers, secretary all right, mr. isaacson, and members of the diplomatic, business, government and development committees. a lot of our special events and hospitality services -- we pride ourselves on being an
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active hub for u.s. trade and international policy, national export initiatives, and a form of her diverse programming. in addition, our office of trade promotion works to fulfill the mandates of the trade center by collaborating with an extended network of public and private sector organizations. our partners include government agencies, chambers of commerce, and think tanks that can be in a it rich mixture, such as this evening's program. the goal is to foster international dialogue, generate business opportunities, and educate the public. we have had the great pleasure of working with the national democratic institute, a host of tonight's program. the ndi works with local partners to strengthen political and civic
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organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation, openness, and accountability in government. we would like to thank them for assembling this prestigious panel this evening. we look forward to hearing from the speakers as the offer insight and analysis on the fast-moving changes taking place in the arab world. i have the great pleasure to introduce our first speaker, mr. walter isaacson, the president and ceo of the aspen institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy-focused organization. in addition, mr. isaacson has been chairman and ceo of cnn, managing editor of "time magazine," and the author of many books and biographies, including the newly released biography of the great steve jobs. it is my pleasure to introduce
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mr. walter isaacson. >> thank you very much, and thank you for having us in your great facility. we appreciate it. i will introduce the people on stage. you have their biographies. atia lawgali from libya is on my left. sheikh mohammed abu luhoum is from yemen. a pleasure to have you here. dr. amal habib al yusuf is from bahrain. mohammad al abdallah, from syria, welcome. rafat al akhalim, from yemen, thank you for being with us. dr. muneera fakhro from bahrain. and dr. azza kamel, from egypt. before we start, a person who needs no introduction in this building.
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i will just say madeleine albright embodies the notion of values and democracy in interwoven with ideals and interested in creating great foreign policy. i would like to offer the former secretary a chance to say a few words. >> thank you all for being here and having us at this wonderful location. i am delighted that we are able to have this particular panel. ndi has been involved in all the countries that now make up the arabs praying for about 15 years. we are very proud of the work we have done. what is most important and i think will come out in the discussion here is that these are home-grown changes that come from the people in the region. this is not an imposed democracy, or anything like that. ndi has responded to the desires of the people to figure
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out what organizations work in terms of transition, how to organize political parties, how to train. i am proud of what we have done, but am delighted to be on stage with people that have really been out there, bringing change to the countries where they are from. i have worked through a number of major changes in my life. i am a child of world war ii, and saw the cold war and the end of the cold war. the arab spring is a measure that is equal to the fall of the berlin wall in the amount of change it will bring in our world. i am delighted to be here. i would like to think the state department and u.s. aid for standing up for us in a number of places where life is is complicated. i thank you very much and look
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forward to a discussion. >> let me start with you, mr. atia lawgali . you are the minister of culture in the transitional government in libya. can you talk about what you think is going to happen next? >> an easy question. [laughter] first, i would like to say i am delighted to be here. meeting you and talking to you would have been unthinkable a year ago. actually, it would have been a crime in the previous regime. thanks to ndi, thanks to this wonderful crowd, and thanks to the courageous youth of libya who made my presence here is a possibility. the libyan society has gone through a lot of change in the
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last few months, where new forces were unleashed. the men and women together have made this revolution possible. what we are witnessing now in libya is a departure from a history of oppression that has lasted for centuries in that area. this revolution was led by people who were not in ideologically inclined, who are regular people like you and me, fighting for quality of life. to answer your question, i would say we are moving toward a democratic society. we are moving toward an election. we are going to have, in eight
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months, a constitutional assembly where we will write a constitution and have elections, and hopefully we will have a democratic state. >> what worries you and what excites you about the prospects ahead? >> what excites me a lot -- i think we have a chance to change the history of libya, and probably the history of the region. i think there is great opportunities in libya, where you have the youth that is full of energy, of aspiration, people who want to have the rule of law, want to have a constitutional system. not only that, but also there is a drive to adopt a new value
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system. i think what we are going to see in libya is a new paradigm. we saw the fall of a model that had existed for about 70 years in that region, the model that is based on one ruler, no political parties, no freedom of speech, no free press. that model has disappeared now, and i think forever. so a lot of things excite me. what worries me is that the transition is a very short one. we have many tasks to take care of during this time. we have to rebuild our police force, our army. we have to write our constitution. we have to have elections. there are so many tasks ahead of us, and time is short.
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but i am hopeful, and i am optimistic. >> thank you. scheck mohammad, you helped form the justice and building party. tell us how you got there and with president saleh's return what that will mean for yemen. >> thank you very much. and i do thank nci. -- ndi. in the arab world, i think this is the greatest moment we have lived in the last 70 years. i do not think we have ever seen a change in the arab world like we are seeing today. you are seeing the masses aroused, and not the military or islamists, but everybody. what you are seeing in yemen, you see the women's side by side with the men, their brothers, giving their lives. they are losing their lives every day.
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i think yemen is one of the country's where the per-capita income is between 400, $500 a year. up north, you are talking about $50,000 a year. i think human needs that change. either the leader leaves peacefully or -- you have seen that change in libya. i hope yemen will not reach the stage of angry change. we would like to see a peaceful outcome on human. -- in yemen. reconciliation and forgiveness is the method of the change. this is one of the things we are trying to focus. we want to add them to the
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system and let them feel the change is not focused. everybody will benefit. we would like to see, like my colleague said, and then the dictators. i think the revolution will put an end to dictators, and at the same time i think, radicals will not have a free movement, as they used to have in the past. i think this is a great time for yemen and the arab world. >> what the ec as the future for democratic elections over the last year? >> right now in yemen, we have the growth council initiative, which has been endorsed by the u.s. and international community. this is a good thing for yemen. what is astonishing about these initiatives is the peace initiative. the opposition, including us,
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said we were happy to work with the peace initiative. we were stuck with the president and his group. we have been on and off for the past six months. is he going to sign? is he not going to sign next two weeks ago, we signed the initiative and let us move forward. i think there is a model from the international community to put pressure on the president and let us move forward with a peaceful transfer of power. this is one of the things we will focus at. we would like to see a peaceful transfer of power. if you look at yemen, with a population of about 25 million, we are insisting this will be a peaceful change. this is where we hope it will lead. >> moving to bahrain, which in
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some places is one of the toughest problems for outsiders to sort through, political unrest is now going again. what do you see as the likely future for the transition of this movement, and what you see the role of groups like ndi being in such a transition? >> first of all, thank you for giving us an opportunity to talk here and highlight bahrain, which has been a hot topic since this started. the special thing about bahrain is that this is a strategic ally of the united states. that might be the first thing you think, for many people. there are giants somehow in the world, along with saudi arabia. the situation is more or less the same as it started in
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february and march. it is far from normal. as you said, unrest is still there. the protests are still there on a nightly basis. there are rallies by the opposition on a weekly basis. the 14 february youth are still on the street, demanding for their rights. now, everybody in bahrain are excited and are waiting for the ici report, the commission appointed by the king to investigate the human rights violations that occurred in february and march, and later on. we think it might be the steps where we can talk about how to move forward. we can see no solution for what
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is happening in bahrain other than a meaningful and genuine dialogue between the opposition and the government to draw the road map of how to move forward. the opposition made themselves very clear in a document. they made a joint document representing most of the opposition parties in bahrain, and they made their demands very clear. we demand reform of the system and not supporting overthrowing the regime. we are demanding a constitutional monarchy and elected government, parliament, an independent judiciary system, and a police system in the country. it is very clear. we are hoping that after the bici report we can build confidence again and trust
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between us and the government, and there is only support to engage in a genuine and meaningful dialogue. to do that, we need international support, especially from our friends and strategic allies, the united states, and use its government to pressure them more to go toward the phone. >> the valid? -- the sempter elections? >> actually, no. the situation has been the same. there was no change. there was no constitutional reform. the opposition was demanding four a single chamber of parliament. what you have now is two
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chambers. one is nominated by the king, with full authorities and regulatory authority. the other chamber is elected, but the problem uneven distribution of the electoral district. it is the same. nothing has been changed. moreover, the human rights violations are going on. the street is angry about the government. we have these issues that made the opposition think they are not very optimistic that they can do any change to the current parliament or the current system. they boycotted the election. so now parliament is not representative of nearly half of the population, if not more.
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>> moving to syria, you have been a great journalist and now a blogger, using various forms of new media. what role the see the digital media playing in what can happen in syria? >> the digital media made a key role in what is happening in the country. the syrian government from the first week blocked the international media to enter syria to report about what is happening. all the news we got is from youtube videos that citizen journalists have been filming, using their cell phones. there have been a lot of citizens contributing to those specific pages to send as much and as accurate as possible, comprehensively cover in what is happening. without this technology, we would be in big trouble, because the government would be able to block the information.
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that is why the syrian government relying on sophistic internet capability to arrest activists. >> what do you see happening in syrian next? >> this is a hard question, because the syrian government has been smart in the way they are cracking down on people. they have been acting similar to gaddafi, but using the arabic language. gaddafi was stupid to say "i am going to kill them all and hang them like crabs." the syrians say, "we are going to do this and that" and use the military to kill people. reform is not happening and the government is not one to take initiatives to reform anything. no one in the revolution feels the revenge of the government is going to be stopped.
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the price of continuing is less than the price of stopping now. people are willing to go to the street, protest, and died. if the revolution is stopped, the government will have 40 more years of oppression. the syrian government is very aware of the international community has limited options in syria. it is complicated. there are lots of factors there, and nobody can do a military intervention similar to libya. it has been smart in the way of killing people, but not killing enough people to have the international community act quickly. it is not allowed to commit genocide or crimes against humanity, so it is killing enough people to come down the revolution without bringing international intervention. i think the u.s. ambassador in
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syria for the great work he has been doing in syria. he has been a witness. he went to a lot of places. he went to hama. he spoke with the victims of torture. the role of the international community in surgery at is limited. i think the approach the maximum of the sanctions that can do with the syrian regime. they are suffering financially. a lot of people are in trouble from the first row of the government. but that is not going to topple the government. as for the peaceful protesters, by chanting and going to protests, that is what is going to topple the government. it is a very scary thing. they are pushing things more and more. the more the international community helps syrians and
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protect them, the more serious is going to take arms against themselves, and that is scary. the maximum turkey can do is protect the border, to do a safe zone where defectors from the army can go. but the turkish government has been saying that taking people without arming people is not useful, but that would start a bloodbath. >> homs seems to be the center of the unrest, but we cannot get much information out. >> the protests and the military solution, every time the bomb indiscriminately, killing lots of people. they are attacking hospitals,
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kidnapping wounded people. people keep protesting. it is amazing how the people of homs every night protest and dance and sing. homs is famous as the joke capital of syria as well. lots of jokes come from homs. a lot of amazing stories. when the government starts accusing them of being armed, the protesters responded in a funny way. the have okra as a bullet and the part of it and throw it at the tank. the protests have been higher than other areas. that is why the government is going crazy to stop anything that is happening in homs. >> can you explain to us yemen
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and the role of youth in the movement? >> sure. rezek yemen is a huge organization. we keep trying to get you involved in public policy and trying to increase political inclusion. since the revolution started in february, we've been trying to build the capacity of local youth movements and trying to tap them. articulating their demands was the first step, communing with the international community and trying to come up with a profit structures to work together in different parts of the country. the coming time in yemen should be a time of mass inclusion. almost two-thirds is under the
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age of 35. youth are a majority and not a minority group. what we have been trying to say is that if the coming time does not provide youth with the channels and the forum to be part of constitutional changes, reforms, election laws, all these political processes, and the revolution did not take us away from the old regime, which was a bunch of elites on both sides that had taken all the decisions in the country. we have been advocating for more inclusion, a more inclusive process. ndi in yemen has been helping with that, doing a lot of training, building capacity of the youth movement, being able to advocate their messages, being able to be part of the process.
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>> one of the questions about the arab spring has been whether these are separate movements or whether there is a cohesion to the experience. puc, from a vantage point of youth across the region, that there is some relationship of all of these movements, at least in the eyes of young people getting involved? >> in terms of our relationship, to using social media such as facebook and twitter, there has been a lot of communication with the youth in tunisia and syria. there was a joint friday arranged by youth, the friday of yemen and syria. >> on which social network platform was it arranged? >> facebook, mostly. there are a lot of active facebook groups. from a practical point of view,
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there have been ill lot of visits from yemen used to cairo, sharing experiences and all that. there has been a connection, not necessarily in terms of being one cohesive network, but in terms of having the same suffering and the same aspirations for a better future. >> would that have been harder without facebook? >> definitely. it would have been impossible without the new technologies that made it easier to connect. you have used from syria, yemen, and egypt, all in the same group, sharing their experiences. >> you were a candidate in the
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bahrain parliament elections. you also have written about the role of gender and women in democracy. tell us about what you think the role of women has been in the arab spring. >> women consisted maybe half of those who were demonstrating, even in bahrain. in the uprising in bahrain, many of them were women. they wanted to talk. >> let us start with bahrain. the role of women has been particularly [no audio]. >> the uprising in bahrain is of -- part of the arabl wor -- arab
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world. a revolution. a large segment of society [no audio] participating, but mainly those who work uprising [no audio], and fewer were sunni. but it does not mean the sunni were a minority member. they had the jobs and were pro- government, mainly. first, i want to mention that i have written a paper on the uprising. if you would like to have a copy, please contact the ndi. second, the arab women were mainly the oppressed of the -- i cannot say. they are oppressed all over the arab world. that is why many of them joined. many women were joining the uprising.
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>> rafat made the point that across the arab world there is some solidarity among the youth in different countries. do you feel that way about women across the arab world, that they are sharing information and encouraging each other? >> that are sharing information, but what is the most important segment was youth. there was the facebook, as you mentioned, and twitter. most of them have combined work together. they were working together, men and women. the represent two-thirds of the population and are 30 years of age. >> dr. kamel, you too have written a lot and are an expert on women's issues, especially in egypt.
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you founded the women's research center in egypt. explain what that is, and the role you see it playing in egypt. >> a long time ago, there were many women's organizations that work for a hard to advocate for women's rights and to push toward a role in government. there were fighting violence against women and girls. after many years, the government issued some laws after this big movement in egypt. there are many feminist
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organizations that work very hard to focus on women's rights, especially in culture. also, we let the government issue this for women. unfortunately, went away because the national party used its for their interest. their interest. after the revolution, during the revolution, women's fight was alongside the men, all over egypt. not only in tahrir square. there is no difference between women and men. there is no difference between literate women or are -- or
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rural women, between islamic or christian women. the leader and believer. altogether, we had only one goal, to make the regime stand down. after 18 days after mubarak's stepped down, the muslim brothers want women to go back to their home. unfortunately also, the government did not listen to women and did not choose women to be in the cabinet. only one woman from the whole regime is in the cabinet. in the constitution committee in the beginning, they did not
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involve women in the government. they say they are afraid that women and youth are not ready for this job. they forget the women and the youth made this revolution. they have been less visible. they need to destroy it all the law before the revolution, because the argument is that this is all laws from the original regime, but they forget that we struggled many years, the activists in women's organizations. now, we worked as the coalition from different areas with the
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human rights organization. the advocate and try to support the women to go to the next election. what happens also is most of the [unintelligible] this is very bad. two% one and only in the parliament. -- 2% women only in the parliament. >> i think you've heard the optimistic side of the arab spring. there is another side. >> i would like to focus on yemen. yemen has a strategic location. one of the things that came to mind is that if this regime change needs to happen, what will happen to these radical
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groups, what will happen to the interest of the region and the international community. a new yemen is determined and serious about working together with the international community. when we talk about change, we are talking about hope, not revenge are settling scores. i would like the west to be assured we will be partners in fighting. you cannot use the same methods the regime has been using. you need the people and the locals of that area. a new government in yemen would work as a serious partner with this is something not to worry about. when it comes to the region, our neighbors such as saudi up arabia -- saudi arabia -- change in yemen does not mean it will move to saudi arabia. i do not think they share the same problems we do. we need the saudis, and the saudis need us. this is something we hope the
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u.s. can work with us in order to reach that change. if you ask are you worried about the revolution, i am not worried. i know the revolution will succeed. it will succeed very soon. but at what cost? we would like to avoid the high cost. this is what we are hoping to see. >> i would like to highlight more about the sectarian issues in yemen and bahrain. >> the sectarian issue, yes. >> the fight started as a popular demand for all, asking for their rights, and a presentation of all sectors, not discriminating between shia and sunni. they all worked together at the roundabout. we both shared the same demands. what has happened is that the sunni community got contained
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from the beginning. the first political detainee was sunni. he gave a speech at the roundabout and disappeared the same night. afterward, he was found to be arrested. he was held incommunicado. it was in february even before the unrest started and all the political detention started. then we have the president of the secular society. he is still in detention since march, and he is a sunni leader. the problem is of the government is pushing toward radicalism on both sides. >> pushing towards -- >> radicalism on both sides, the sunni side and the shia side. the pro-government media, the newspapers and tv channels, were provoking radicalism and
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anti-shia propaganda and anti- americanism, with croats- government newspapers. -- with pro-government newspapers. this radicalism results in slogans like "no amnesty" and "revenge against the traders -- traitors." on the other side, there is the suppression and violence used against portia. -- used against the shia. the sheer radicalism is manifested in the slogan "down with the king puzzle we have two extremes -- "down with the king." we have two extremes, with sectarian policy, extremism, and radicalism.
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we think there needs to be real reform that integrates all parts of the society. that is the safeguard of the rights of all, not only shia or sunni. >> you are saying the whole reform movement has been, when it is successful, able to heal or transform the sectarian divide its that have been used by regimes in the past. >> exactly. >> secretary albright? >> there are all kinds of comparisons to central and eastern europe after the fall of the wall. one of them, and i have maintained this is quite a different issue -- one of the things that was interesting -- the dissidents and marchers and various people in central and
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east europe wanted a lot of western attention. they saw that as a way of protection. the question i have is to what extent do you want to have -- this is not a western story. to what extent is it helpful and to what extent is it harmful, in terms of what should the international community be doing? and the west specifically. >> i think it is important. people in the middle east and want western attention. libya is a clear example. in syria, when they went to hama, they let them in. they were hoping the people in hama would attack him, and he was met with a branch of olives. we really need the u.s. to get more involved to help people and protect them. you see crimes against humanity
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happening and not [no audio]. -- and not to get involved. i met secretary clinton in august. she said we did not want to help more in syria because we do not want to mechanize your revolution. i can hear you. but people in the middle east look at what happened in egypt. you see all the people protesting for all those days with no [no audio]. -- no one anti-u.s. flag. there was a flag burned in tahrir square. we watched osama bin laden be killed without a protest. the danish cartoons came out and people attacked the embassies. now we are witnessing osama bin laden killing. and there was the assassination in yemen with no reaction. people in the west are aware of
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-- people are awake and are aware of their real enemies. they are not the western governments and the u.s. themselves. it is the government's preventing rights. you're exchanging some jokes about this. we have always heard in the middle east that mubarak is an agent for the west and ben ali is an agent for the west. when the time comes, those agents -- you had leverage to use against them. they used their army against -- not to use their army against their people, killing them. the was not the case with gaddafi or assad. nobody had privilege with rigid have leverage with those people. -- no one had leverage with those people. people in the middle east are demanding more help and attention. >> that is a good point. dr. fakhro?
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>> all the media in bahrain is controlled. the newspapers and tv are attacking the west. they say they are conspiring with iran against bahrain. nobody believes them. people are smiling at such a cassations. -- at such accusations. people in bahrain are looking to our western help, mainly the u.s. and eu, and international organizations, especially the ndi, for example, because they did a great job in bahrain. they were hoping and training people about democracy. that is why the ndi was unwelcome in bahrain. it is an honor, really.
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>> first, let me get dr. habib. >> there is something else. i would like to speak about the future perspective. where are we going? in bahrain, as i said, it is not the revolution, it is not changing the structure of government, it is only adding reformed the system -- reform to the system, making reform initiatives. that is why we are different. bahrain might be the model for the gulf. our region is different than the rest of the arab world, although it is part of the arab spring. i consider it part of the arab spring, but it is different in a way that we are not going to topple our system. we just need reform. that is why it -- where are we going? this is the question now.
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what is a waiting in the near future? >> i just want to add about what we are expecting from the u.s. actually, as my colleague correctly said, we do not need arms support. we do not need western troops or any of that. what is so specific about bahrain is that we would like to see this reflect on our progress and development in the country, our freedom and democracy. we do not want its seen the other way around. we would like to see our friendship with the united states as an opportunity for more freedom and democracy. we want to see the united states using its leverage and strong relations. >> instead of being penalized for being a strategic ally. >> yes. >> i want to ask about your opinion toward what has happened in bahrain, with the
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saudi government and their tanks that cracked down on the revolution in a strategic ally of the u.s. >> thank you for this question. >> it seems like a double standard with the u.s. for a long history, they had a good relationship with mubarak. but they did not really use it with ben ali. as we saw with the case of lockerbie, they did not raise the masquerade -- the massacre in 1996. >> i do not speak for anybody but myself. i think it shows the difficulties of being consistent, because there is no question that we are very closely linked with the saudis. we have a very general relationship with the rest of you, and there is always hope that the saudi reforms through king abdallah will take place, and that is a different
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situation. i think the u.s. is in a tough situation. it does look like we care about one thing, and not another. i think people are uncomfortable with his position, but it is pragmatic. one thing i always found hard when i was speaking with the u.s. is that when are we idealistic and when are we realistic? i always thought it was a false dichotomy, mainly because i did not know what i was, a realist or an idealist. i think pragmatically, this is a very difficult program. what one hopes is that the saudis will see the value of reform themselves, and will not try to impose their will on bahrain. but i think it is the hardest question. that would be the basis of what you expected from the u.s. there has been kind of the sense that this is your story, that this is not a western
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story, and that there was a need to support, but not to figure out how to solve the problem. but that is the most difficult question, and also for syria. why is it we went into libya? why aren't we doing the same in syria? i hate to say this. there are enough people who have been in the government who can tell you that consistency is one of the most difficult parts of foreign policy. >> i would like to ask a question. where can you carry a huge american flag around and people will cheer you and smile at you? i guess it is either texas or libya. [laughter] >> benghazi. >> in particular. there are many reasons for that. i believe there is a new middle east that is taking place right now, a middle east that has
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liberated itself from the burdens of the past, from a logical -- from ideological problems, if i may say. i believe that in libya in particular there is a chance to create a model of cooperation between the united states and the arab world, a model that can be a success story for democracy and human rights and prosperity. and let me assure you, libya is not going to be a burden on anybody. we need knowledge, we need skills. they have enthusiasm, they have the desire to create great this
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is a chance that should be taken by everybody. it will enhance democracy by creating this new model, which might encourage others to follow suit. >> one of the things -- the same question has been asked for tunisia, libya, yemen. there is always this concern about who is coming next. who is the successor after the current regime falls? how about libya? this question and fear of the islamists, i met with those
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people in the military presence in syria. -- in the military prisons in syria. those people have -- are popular because they have been banned for decades in the country. they have never been in power. the west used very bad example, to judge how islamists would be in the government, like hamas. such people are not in tunisia. they won the election. it was the first real election in this area. people are going to test them. they will lose their popularity. the other point, they will face challenges by community on the
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society. there are a lot of problems and they will fail to achieve the demands. so they will become regular political parties. when we bade them more, they get more popular and they became more demanded by the people. that is why secretary clinton was very smart. saying that if the muslim brotherhood won the elections in egypt, our relations would not change. >> secretary clinton will be giving a major policy address at the dinner tonight. >> the revolution takes a long time to achieve. it is very difficult to say that after nine months. -- after nine marches or 10 marches that their revolution is stable and finished.
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we have to be very patient. i speak about egypt, all the other countries. it is not easy. it is a long road. it is important that the arab people unite together. they have to learn from each other. the people should make the revolution and be patient and try to be very smart, to learn from the experience and see how to build the coalition and to
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have a good vision and create a situation, to take a step to see what happens. i think we will have to think how to continue. i think this is very important. >> the question that madeleine albright proposed is a very important question. it will be the topic in many debates, at least in yemen. a lot of people think the only way is to get help from the u.s. or the west. i do not think it is the right thing to do. especially in the case of
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yemen, what we really need from the international community is the humanitarian assistance. that is not something that is highlighted amongst the political situation. the humanitarian situation in yemen is deteriorating very fast. and there was bad to start with. the poverty level is incredible. people are lacking basic food and water. it is increasing every day. amidst that, the international committee cut their funding and the world bank shut down operations. a lot of agencies stopped working in yemen. it is making the situation work -- worse. that is what we need the international community to help with. the other aspect is the arms
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deals to yemen. the u.s. has been supportive of the the revolution in general, they continued their military aid to the government. that is one area where consistency was unquestioned. -- was in question. finally, human rights violations. that is a basic global international right that people cannot be killed in the square. we expect them to stand against any human-rights violations. those are the areas. outside that, it is our story. it is up to us to come up with the appropriate solutions. >> thank you. it is such an historic change that right at this moment, when there is so much western help and need for engagement economically, the western economy, both in europe and the united states, are having to do
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such fiscal draconian cutbacks. i do not know the answer to that. i fear what might have happened if we could not have done the marshall plan because of trying to get our fiscal house in order. we do know how painful it is that this is a time and which humanitarian aid and other forms of aid are very difficult. i will give you the last word, scheck muhammed. >> the west is going through a very unique time. we have come a long way since september 11. if you look today at the u.s. policy and community policy, look at the examples. the direct involvement of the u.s. in connection with the people is better than getting connected to leaders.
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a final point is about the islamists. i think today the islamist ought to be contained and encourage. whenever you talk to an islamist and egypt, libya, they have gone away from the taliban model. we would like to keep them engaged in the political process. if we feel any threat from them -- a new middle east would be a reliable partner. we would like to see more understanding of civilization and set of conflicts of civilization. -- instead of conflicts of civilization. this is a great opportunity and a great time. >> thank you so much. secretary, do you have some final thoughts? >> i would like to thank everybody because this has been a great panel in terms of learning what is going on.
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anyway, i am very encouraged by the fact that you all know that this is going to take a long time. i think the hard part is how to get people from the square or the street into governance. our media has been covering this wrong. as if it were some kind of a timeframe spectator sport. in fact, it is a long process. we need to be prepared to watch a long process and to be as helpful as we can. and listen to you and know that you are involved in something that is going to take time. i have to say, my great admiration for all of you who are leading this and doing and in very difficult circumstances, that your patience and your desire for governance and moving to some kind of vague system where the people have the opportunity --, -- some kind of a system where the people have the opportunity to have their voices heard. it is testament to a fact that i
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have believed in all of my life, that we are all the same and we all want to live in a system of government that listens to our voices. that we can participate in one form or another. democracy is the future for everybody. it is a process that takes quite a long time. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. it shows what we are doing at ndi and what we are doing is so important. nd for ken as well. >> thank you. thank you for hosting such a dynamic group. if we could kindly ask the audience to remain seated until our speakers have a moment to depart the room. thank you. thank you, once again, for
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joining us. and those attending the democracy awards dinner. we hope you have a fantastic evening. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> in a few moments, our series on the military talks about how the marine corps might be affected by budget cuts. in an hour, an interview with cbs news foreign correspondent laura load and. and then british prime minister david cameron on the g-20 summit and the eurozone crisis. a couple of live events to tell
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you about tomorrow morning. attorney general eric holder testified before the senate judiciary committee and a justice department oversight hearing. members are expected to focus on operation fast and furious that might allow hundreds of weapons into mexico. that is here on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. also it 10:00 on c-span3, the senate education committee hears from a panel of teachers around the country as it considers the future of the elementary and secondary education act. >> extremism and the defense of liberty is no vice! [applause] let me remind you also that moderation in dubbed the pursuit of justice is no virtue. >> he lost the 1964 presidential election to lyndon johnson, but barry goldwater's ideas and
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candor galvanize the conservative movement. the senator from arizona is featured this week on "the contenders." >> a look nexrad how the marine corps might be affected by budget cuts. from our "washington journal" series on the military, this is about an hour. >> today on "washington journal ," we kick off military week. tomorrow we will focus on the united states air force. wednesday, arlington national cemetery. thursday, the u.s. coast guard. friday, we look at the demographics in the armed forces of the united states. that is the rest of the week. today we are focusing on of the marines. here is the picture from the u.s. marine corps museum, south of washington, d.c., down at the quantico marine base.
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joining us is lieutenant-general richard mills, deputy commandant. thank you for joining us. guest: good morning, paul. thanks for having me. i cannot think of a better place to broadcast from then here at the national museum. thanks for the letting and slid off the week. host: number birthday is it? guest: to order 35th birthday of the marine corps. we started with the marine corps marathon last week. for the next week or so, they will be celebrating it everywhere, from large ceremonies as we will have in washington, d.c., to very small ceremonies at operating bases like afghanistan and iraq, where ever marines are. they will gather together and remember the past and look forward to the future. great time for the marines.
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host: we have lots to talk about this hour, and we will get yours' -- viewer's comments. what we put the phone numbers on the bottom of the screen. we do have a special line in this morning for active or retired marines. we certainly look forward to hearing from you. our guest is lieutenant-general richard mills of the marine corps. your title --, development and integration deputy commandant. what does that mean? what is your job? guest: my job is wide ranging. i am headquartered at the base at quantico. i also worked extensively in
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washington and places north. my job ranges across the entire capability spectrum across the marine corps, and it is to work under the direction of a, not to ensure that marines of the future have the capabilities, training, and education to accomplish the mission state bank are assigned. i work in everything from amphibious dock into what our new light tactical vehicles will look like, amphibious vehicles, while all the way to our efforts in the cyberworld, which are growing every day and becoming more and more important to us. host: remind us of the scope of u.s. marine corps. what kind of work does it do? guest: absolutely. our current strength is 200,000. we are going to draw down somewhat as the operations in afghanistan began to drive down. the marine corps is the nation's 911 force. our job is to do crisis
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intervention, to be most ready when the nation is least ready. if you look at our history, that is what we have done. the marine corps is organized into three major areas. one is the ground combat units. we have three divisions, all divisions of infantry -- for all divisions of infantry. we have a very strong air wing -- fixed wing aviation an orderly wind aviation, the ability to move our troops and support them with fire once on the ground. and a strong logistics' element that operates everything from simple maintenance on the ground to support the troops. our efforts are to be ready or ever crisis strikes, and we are committed to places like iraq and afghanistan, where we are ready to fight a war on the ground, we are ready to do that. we respond with navy ships around the will to humanitarian efforts in disaster relief.
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we have done all of that and more. we have been in places like haiti, we of course responded to the tsunami in japan when that struck and were able to provide disaster relief to very important allies in that part of the world. we responded to flood in pakistan, where you had people who were devastated by the rising waters caused by the monsoons. we were able to deploy heavy lift helicopters to provide much-needed disaster relief. when people say that the marines have landed and the situation is well in hand, that does not just mean the kinetic piece. it means the entire spectrum of military operations -- disaster relief, at embassy reinforcement, all of those things. in very short terms, the marine corps is an air-ground- ballistics team, task with a job it gets a sign, worldwide deployable. host: lieutenant general richard
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mills will be with us for the full hour. he has at a place called triangle, a virginia, not far from quantico marine base. as you talk about afghanistan and iraq, speaker further, it take us deeper into the role of marines there. how many active marines and afghanistan? 19,000? guest: just under 20,000. they are operating throughout afghanistan. essentially down in the southwest corner, it was my privilege in 2010 to be the commanding general down there and lead the marines and our allied forces. our entire coalition is fighting in that part of the country. the marines down there are doing everything from a close combat y, to the westemy i near the border, but more importantly, the they are doing an awful lot of counterinsurgency operations,
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involving things like ensuring schools are up and running, and area or the country is important to the pashtuns who live there. we are helping the local government develop and expand influence. most important is our effort to train the afghan security forces, both of the police and army. we have mobile training teams that are out, looking at the very lowest levels. we also have training teams at the camps that involve training recruits -- the afghanistan army and the local police. we are operating across the entire spectrum. there has been significant success in the southwest. it is an area or the afghan army has taken more responsibility on a daily basis. that is the result of an awful lot of hard work by good marines and our coalition partners down there. in the southwest, we're working closely with u.k. forces. the british have almost 12,000 forces on the ground there.
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we also have our georgian allies with us, and other allies as well. it is a coalition effort and i think it has been very successful. host: i want to bring up the subject of money and budgets and the great potential for cuts at the pentagon. there is another story in the paper today about what the defense secretary, leon panetta, is trying to weigh. it says he is weighing pentagon cuts that were once off-limits. "orders to cut the budget by $450 billion over the next decade -- the secretary is considering a reduction in spending categories that were once thought to be sacrosanct, especially in medical and retirement benefits." what do you worry about most, if anything, general, when it comes to potential cuts? guest: the underlying principle that the secretary has said on many occasions -- probably our number one concern as well -- is breaking faith with our marines and their families.
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the marines and their families have sacrificed a tremendous amount, as have members of all the services. i believe they have certain expectations, and i think that it is to train them, equip them, and to give them enumeration that is appropriate to the sacrifice that we are asking of them. i think it is important that would not break faith with the marines and their families, and the cuts that the secretary is talking about will not do that. we're taking a hard look, top to bottom, in the marine corps and all parties systems, our training requirements, and our manning levels to meet the budget cuts, and we will do that. we will still provide the country with a crisis-ready force, a force capable of operating across the full spectrum of military operations, and perhaps most importantly, a course where the marines are comfortable that we've not broken faith with them and are providing pay and benefits that they richly deserve. host: quick thumbnail sketch of
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the marine corps fy2012 budget request. our first call this morning for lieutenant general richard mills of the u.s. marine corps is san diego. steve, republican. good morning. caller: i would just like to know what part will civilian production in forces take place, and when will it take place? host: thank you. guest: steve, that is a great question. as part of our review of the entire force structure, we look at the military side of the house and the civilian marines as well, the ones who contribute so much to our success. there is a study and a weight at my headquarters that is looking at the civilians to -- c- sthere is a study underway
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right now at cmy orders that is looking at the civilian structure. that study will be transparent, fully published, and we will discuss it with everybody concerned before actions are taken. at this point, i cannot really comment on any reductions that are possible. there is the review that is being done. care will be taken to make sure we end up with the best size civilian force we can afford, one that will effectively support the smaller marine corps. host: on our line for marines, but active-duty and retired, james is calling from the western part of florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i just got to comment, preferred ,tock, s -- but first off semper fi. i don't understand why, when the marine corps has the lowest budget of all the branches, we do more with less money than any
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other branch -- how can they cut our budget? hoo-rah. guest: that is a great question. we the marines are notorious for being penny pinchers. we have done a lot with the defense budget, and we don't want to change that. it gives us a certain mindset of being careful with our resources. ensuring that we have the right equipment that we need. we're not overly demanding of the resources of this country, which is important that it be respected. we the marines are ready to sacrifice with the entire department of defense, because there are budget cuts that are
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coming, budget cuts that are important to national security and aour nation. we will do our shared. we will still be the fourth that you recognize, jams -- we will still be the force that you recognize, james privott we will not shortcut our brains, we will not sure what the equipment -- we will not shortcut our marines, we will not shortcut the equipment that they need. host: general mills, how would you describe morales these days at the core? guest: i would describe mor ale as sky-high. it is reflected by many things. it is reflected by the response of our marines as you toward the battlefield and garrison situations in the states. marines are pumped, motivated the biggest question i get is,
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"hey, when do i get to go to the field, when do i get to go to the war, when do i get to go to the fleet?" our morale is tremendous and that is reflected in their reenlistment rates, which are the best they have ever been. we can be selective with the marines and they tried to keep on. we have more and more marines list --nt to rein reenlist. right now it is tough to join the corporate our recruiters are doing a great job. down -- right now it is tough to join the core. our workers are doing a great job. host: what are the biggest problems the corps is facing these days? guest: the biggest issue is, as we draw down from afghanistan, we need to reset the force.
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we have been in that part of the world for at least 10 years, with much of the same equipment in both iraq and afghanistan. that equipment is getting aged. as we reset the force and prepare for the next major commitment, wherever that happens to be, we will look at our weapons systems, transportation equipment, and renew that. with the declining budget, the amounts of money available to us, we have to make hard choices. the second issue that we really have to come to grips with, working closely with the department of defense, is what the size of the marine corps will be. we can now and we support that we will not be over to douse an -- we know and we support that we will not be over 200,000. we know that we need to be a crowd of 186,000-187,000 to be properly structured and man and
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ready at all times to operate. over the next year or so, working closely with the department of defense, talking to people on the hill, we will get resolutions. host: lowry, a democrat from indiana. you are on with lieutenant- general richard mills. larry, you there? i think we lost larry. quincy, illinois. troy, retired marine. caller: good morning, sir. i'm a retired gunnery sgt. ipad retired -- i have been retired for about eight years now. i saw something on the news this morning that the secretary of defense was going to cut military and retirement benefits, and i wanted to get your take on that and see what that is about. guest: semper fi, marine. again, that is a great question.
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i know potential cuts to anything is of vital interest especially to our retirees. again, i have not seen specific cuts that have been recommended by either the secretary or by the super committee as it meets under washington. i want to reemphasize to you that when the secretary and, not say that we will not break faith with our marines, -- and commandant say we will not break faith with our marines, that also means our retired means. the commandant is interested in anything that might affect our entire population. we know that you have worked hard and have earned what you have and have come to depend on what is that you get any benefits. the commandant is trying very hard to maintain those. i believe the secretary also intends to maintain those as
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much as possible. i can tell you it as specific ideas and suggestions come forward, we on the active service will be battling for you, those of you who have gone before and built a reputation and the standards by which we so proudly must today. -- rest today. we will keep an eye on that and keep everybody informed. we here in washington still wear the uniform and we will fight hard for you. host: beyond retirement pay, a lot has been written about jobs for folks in the military wants they the service and come back to the country. we know there is some legislation in congress on this veterans day weekend to help. what can you say about that issue? guest: it is a major concern for us. as our marines come home and decide to leave the service, it is right and proper that they do
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so. one of the bedrocks of our philosophy is that the marine corps is here to build better citizens. we know that everyone is not going to stay in the court for 20 or 30 years, but some will come in, serve the country proudly, and returned home to their civilian lives, as better citizens and better people. but we are concerned about their employment opportunities. unemployment is a major issue in the united states, everywhere. our employers have been extraordinarily good about taking a hard look at veterans as they come home and giving them opportunities. we need to prepare them better. we need to ensure that all of our exit programs are designed to fully prepare our young marines for entering the civilian world. we would not send a marine into combat without having proper training and understanding where is he was going and understanding thoroughly when he
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needed to do once he got there. it has yet to be the same as we prepare our young marines to leave the service -- it has got to be the same as we prepare our young marines to leave the service and enter the civilian world. meaningful programs that explain to them how to get a job, how to convert their military service into civilian ease, so that civilian employers understand the responsibilities at they have brought a young squad leader in the marine corps today, leading them in combat, making tough decisions, often isolated by himself, is much more mature and probably has a higher level of responsibility than most 21-, 22-year-old young people in the civilian population. when a civilian employer fires a young man like that, -- we need a civilian employer who hires a young man like that to understand what he is getting.
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we need to make sure that as they leave the service, he has a good chance of getting a good job and contributing to i billion the civilian community. host: randy, republican. caller: my question probably doesn't pertain to a lot of what we're talking about. and -- listening., we're caller: i was just saying that i don't think it pertains to a lot of the military moneys and so forth, but i was wondering what the general things about the facts of we have afghan over there, we don't know who did trust in that part of the country, then we have iran, who is determined to build a nuclear
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bomb, or warhead. this concerns me. i am just wondering what the general's thoughts were on that. i will let you will speak on that. host: perhaps a hearing for its policy on that, but do you want to tackle that all? .uest: sure i would be happy to answer that. the caller was concerned about trust between the afghans and the coalition forces on the ground. the trust levels between the coalition of forces and the afghan partners at the tactical ever wear -- the tactical level where i worked was tremendous. we often work together, in cases where we both lived together very closely. our trust in each other was absolutely 110% to. we never had an incident which roused out suspicion about why we should mistrust our partners
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over there. the afghans are a loyal people with a great memory, many of whom remember america finally from the 1950's and 1960's where we at large u.s. aid projects. they remember very clearly and when asked about america and how people were who lead in their years and years and years ago. -- who had been there years and years and years ago. my marines and soldiers worked closely with the afghan police and the afghan army, under tough, conditions, and i saw them take care of each other. i lost a marine while we were there on joint patrol. the site of a canal, and u.s. marines and afghand -- and you had marines and afghans working together. an afghan fell into the water
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and our marinae dove into the water. unfortunately, we lost both the afghan and marine. i was called at the next day and talked to by the afghan governor, who expressed his deep sorrow and deeper friendship with the americans, because american -- an american had sacrificed himself to save an afghan. more importantly, it was two warriors who thought about each other first and consequences second. the trust in the afghan coalition runs deep. i know there are things and the paper and things and the news that people say, and much of that is political, i think. i think that when you go down to the war years and you talk to the soldiers on the police, trust runs deep and very firm. regarding iran, i can only say
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that our eyes and not simply focus on afghanistan. we have people look at areas throughout the world. i have strong confidence in our ability as military people to look at iran and keep an eye on what they are doing. host: harrison, republican from connecticut. caller: good morning. good morning, general. my question is this -- i have a father who served in world war ii, and he never ever talked about the war. i know he serve any great battles -- served in great battles such as solomon islands, iwo jima. is there an information network or i can find out about the battles my father fought in? guest: absolutely, harrison, and thanks for asking that question dad is still -- if your dad is
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still alive, give him the semper fi for me. those were tough fights, among the hardest in our history. guadalcanal is eight touch-tone battle in marine corps history. when you look at the conditions they faced, those were brave men and one and all. your dad deserved remembered as a hero. what i encourage you to do is to contact the museum here at quantico. there is a large section on the second world war. there are exhibits. there are great books -- i am not talking about a bookstore here, but great source of information. it is a crucial part of our history, one to remember.
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if you think about what the symbol of the marine corps is throughout the world, you go to the flag-raising on mount suribachi during the battle of iwo jima, something that has lived on in marine corps religion, lived in our motivation for years and years and. i would encourage you to contact the museum, i would encourage you to contact the headquarters of the marine corps historical branch and ask for information. we would be very happy to provide that. if your dad was a marine, they could provide information specifically on where he was, what decorations you would have earned -- he would have earned. congratulations, your father is indeed a hero. host: lieutenant-general at richard mills is contact development and integration of deputy commandant. it is bprobably a great time
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to tell us more about the facility, how it came into being, and perhaps you can begin with the helicopter behind you. guest: ok, i would be happy to do it. i am a huge fan of the museum. it is 35 miles south, right off 95. there is a sign on route 95 that tells you the exit to get off. it is funded by private donations brought it houses the official record collection of artifacts. the building itself, extraordinarily impressive, was raised through private donations, part of the foundation of mostly retired marines and civilians. it is, as you can see -- i am sitting in the rotunda, but off the edges of the rotunda are wings dedicated to various periods of history. world war i and world war ii
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dominate, because those are eras where we have a rich heritage to display. any marine and any civilian -- great place to spend a day, to look around, to enjoy, and if you are a marine, to relish the history of our corps. the helicopter behind me is one of the first helicopters were used in combat, in the current war -- the korean war, where we were the first service to utilize a vertical lift and particles fall as part of our techniques and procedures. -- vertical lift and a vertical us all as part of our techniques and procedures. it shows the ability of the marines to move quickly, the strike deeply, and use asymmetric methods. much of the museum is dedicated to aviation. above my head, a dive bomber flown by the marines in world
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war ii to great effect. and there is one of our airplanes that can take off up and down like a helicopter and provide close air support for us wherever we are. it is kind of -- maybe the grandfather a ourf-35, -- of our f-35. host: new york city, irv, retired marine. -- ir: i'm not retired served in the army. but i certainly honor the marines come i don't know how anybody could not. the helicopter that was part plane, part helicopter, and the blood and treasure the marines lost with that thing -- was that an example of a congress telling you what you needed? what is the status of the
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project right now? guest: thanks. again, another great question. let me congratulate you for your service in the army. i have operated many times with our u.s. army brothers, and they are tremendous soldiers and do what they do and doing extraordinarily well. i have a son who is a staff sergeant in the united states army and i am proud of him and what he does. he is getting ready for his second deployment to afghanistan shortly. i look forward to working with the army in the future. the question that you have four guards our -- the question you have regards our v-22, which can take off and land like a helicopter, vertically, but takes its engines forward and flies like an aircraft and very high speeds. there was a long time developing that airplane. it was something the marine corps needed, one of the first envisioned as the next step forward in our vertical lift an order -- in order to move more
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quickly against sophisticated defenses we anticipated seeing. it took awhile to develop, and we didn't lose marines and developing that airplane. -- and we did lose marines in developing that airplane. the early stages of any aviation asset often marked by accidents. it is tragic. we hate to lose anyone. but it is a sacrifice made for the eventual betterment of the force. i am a huge v-22 osprey fan. the bank operated across the entire spectrum of aviation to give me great support, give my marines great support. i had some 76,000 square miles of operational ground to cover, and people tell me that is about the size of indiana. when i got on that v-22 and move, it was like the size of rhode island. i have seen it take enemy fire
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and survive, i have seen a to deliver troops it right where you need them in conditions where other helicopters simply could not have done it. it goes to sea with our marine embarked forces, operates easily of those ships. it provides us with tremendous ability, replaces the ch-46, the helicopter that everyone is familiar with from the vietnam war movies, which is reaching some 50 years of age. v-22 gives us much better capability. it gives us speed and the ability to land in places where dust and dark would prohibit other helicopters from landing. it allows us to more further inland at targets to strike when they might appear. it was an idea conceived by the marine corps, and despite some of the hardships we went through, it was one that the marine corps is stuck with and
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has had tremendous success on the battlefield. as i said, i am a big fan because i have seen and operate and i have seen the effect it has brought is a great airplane. host: diane on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. good morning, general. my name is diane and i live in san diego county paid as a young woman, my mother -- i live in san diego county. as a young woman, my mother remarried and we came where my stepfather -- this is 1956 -- i have a son of a 41 and a granddaughter of a five. thank you. we were there for two years, 1956 to 1958, for his training. he was in the first italian
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marines, and then we were transferred -- first italian marines, and then we were transferred to camp pendleton, , staff housing. i have been inundated with military since i was a young woman, brought in oceanside. my first husband was in two t erms in vietnam, silver star, a forward observer. and then i have numerous people military in my family -- my boy friend in high school and college, his father was military retired. and a colonel retired. i wanted to wish you a happy marine corps birthday, sir. your service for this country and its military. and my fiance, who four years
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ago was a navy captain in vietnam and was under president kennedy -- he went to the naval academy in 1946, came out of the naval academy, to submarine warfare in new london, and when he got out of the military after 33 years, he was in counter- terrorism and worked under the american legion -- host: diane, let me jump in. you have a question for the general? caller: i just want to ask you, what is the nation for women and men in the military? i know the president has any program that you want military women and men coming out of -- the service -- the president has a new program for military men and women coming out of the service. i think it is very important, sir.
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men and women coming out of the service definitely should be probably first in line for our employment -- host: thanks. we touched on that briefly, but is there anything else you want to add? guest: sure. first, you sound an awful lot younger. you sound great. you probably should be sitting in the chair anrather than me, with your experience. semper fi and happy birthday to you as well. the marine corps background definitely qualifies you to celebrate the birthday as a marine brat and marine spouse. congratulations to you on this birthday. you understand the sacrifice demanded of our young people, both in the navy and marine corps. i applaud you and thank you for your support for the young people as they leaves the co
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rps or the service and rejoin the civilian community. he spoke briefly about females in the marine corps, and -- let -- you spoke briefly about the mills in the marine corps, and let me touch on that subject. i was asked, how many? other than several hundred, i could not tell you exactly, because they were everywhere. i had females who flew aircraft, females were all quite electronics, who handled admin, who did everything except conduct the actual inventory operations. we also had female engagement teams, young marines -- 20- 22- year-old women come out with our infantry units, engaging with
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the female population of afghanistan, a population that we as males could not get here. they provided information regarding what people in villages need it, what they were thinking, and provided a great conduit of information to us. surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, once we had the female engagement team, we would get tips on the phone lines, ieds in place, enemies in be area. and mothers and wives would call us because it and felt fast and is because of what the female -- felt trust in us because of her what the -- because of what the female engagement teams it did for them. 40- and 50-hour convoys, half of which were under fire by the enemy. those marines did a tremendous job, and they were absolutely no
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different, male or female, in those types of activities. females are contributing in the marine corps across the board, doing a great job, and i am a proud of what they have done. as i said earlier, i am hopeful, as our young men and women leave the corps, they will find a job opportunities out there that recognize the service they provided, but more importantly, recognize the talented and not think anybody out there simply wants a job because he or she was a marine. what they wanted his showed a talent they have -- what they want is to show the talent they have and the service they can bring to the community. host: we have several more calls as we continue with the general. i want to get back to hardware, equipment. there is one story out there about the f-35.
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costs are rising 64% in 10 years, it is still pending development, five years behind schedule -- still in to all men, five years behind schedule. we are reading that the obama administration may cut some of the orders. host: i cannot go into a lot of detail, but the aircraft is critically important to us as marines. we operate off of ambev is shipping -- amphibious shipping. we need fixed-winged support that can divide artillery until we get up short. i have had it in afghanistan and
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iraq, and they authave always done a tremendous job could we need a replacement, at and this would give us the capability. we recently did trials on an the amphibious ship at see, and f- 35 did great. as i said, is it the capability the marine corps needs. we are working hard with other services to protect and develop, and we look forward to having it in the inventory as soon as possible. host: california, republican. caller: good morning. i wanted to know why defense, panetta, is going to cut their retirement of active marines and
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retired marines and not think of taking the contractors out of the countries where we have them, because they are costing so much money to the department of defense. host: we spoke about earlier, but to you want to add anything to pending changes? guest: i think all programs in the department of defense are going to be looked at. and they penaanetta commandant of the marine corps at said on numerous occasions that we will not break faith with our retirees. everybody will be asked to sacrifice something, but i don't think there will be significant changes for those in the system right now. i know that the secretary is going to look at things like tricare and medical benefits, but any details would be premature.
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i can tell you that everyone here is extraordinarily concerned. they and is and what our retirees are and what they the -- deserve and -- state bank understand what our retirees to earn and what they -- bank -- they understand what our retiree earn and what they deserve. the caller also raised the topic of a contractor's permit contractors are being reviewed at every level to see what is important to maintain and what we need. although contractors from time to time get a bad name and everybody has heard about the muffins, the contractors provide us a tremendous service. they give us the ability to develop weapons systems that are vital to national interest.
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there are people in uniform or simply not available. we have many contractors in afghanistan and iraq providing critical services to us that we no longer have the capability to do for ourselves. i would a non -- would not paint every contractor with the the pressure of being overpaid or -- with the brush of being overpaid or simply cheating the government out of money paid the contribution that contractors make is vital to our national defense. host: john, retired, columbus, ohio. caller: good morning 3 i have a question for the general -- good morning, general. marine week 2012 will be held in ohio. i am the commandant of a local marine corps marine detachment active in the state marine corp.
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be. i would like to understand what the purpose and the outcome of the marine corps week -- i know it is help around the country -- what is the goal in cleveland? i'm 70 now. what role can the old marine supply to make marine corps week come off well? -- then the old marines play to make marine corps week come up well? guest: it is great to respond to a former marine. i am sure you are ready to jump out of those airplanes still heard i will keep an eye on you during the marine corps week. marine corps week is a program that visits cities throughout the united states. its intent is to help educate and expose local civilians to what it is the marine corps does throughout the country.
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we always have a bat out there to represent the marine corps. -- band out there to represent the marine corps. it is to let those who support us understand what we do for the country to civilian support is critical to us. we need civilians who understand the marine corps, who appreciate what is we do, and it is right and proper that we do those kinds of things. i am sure the week in cleveland will be full of the events, parades, exhibits, all of which will help understand what it is the marine corps gives them. it is a chance for our marines to get out and meet people in parts of the country we normally don't get too. we have a lot of marines in the cleveland area. it is the chance for our marines
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to see the country they defense, to see what is it they are sacrificing themselves for. i was struck by how much of support comes to us from local communities. i can tell you that, unlike our caller, who was probably a vietnam-era veteran one of support was not as evident, the outpouring of support from communities, churches, leagues, all those types of organizations is absolutely outstanding. to see young marines in operating basis living under the conditions, opening a box of perhaps can dy, cards from local children and civilians saying "thank you for what you do," it is tremendously meaningful to
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our youngsters. understanding the appreciation from the american people is critical. wishing you all, telling us to keep a safe, thank you for what you've done. host: email here -- guest: well, i think it is a partnership. we will refer back to my afghan experience. as a military operator in the southwest corner of afghanistan, i have a teammate who worked about 100 yards from me.
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his team and my team worked together. places where the department of the state belong, governance, local economy, while we can all security issues -- while we handled security issues that were rampant in the area. it is proper and right that we do so. i have found the department of state to be at extraordinarily good partners in ensuring and national objectives were reached, and very easy to deal with. i support cooperation and every level -- at every level and the department of state and department of defense. host: shirley on the line. caller: thank you for taking my call. my favorite general is general bundler, who traveled the country after he retired to one as that -- warn us that war is a racket, and the marine corps
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went into many small countries to capture resources for this country, big business. i wonder what you think of him, and whether you would comply with what he said art would try try to make a mishmash of what he said. guest: thank you for the culprit of course, every marino's -- thank you for the call. of course, every marine at knows butler. he is one of our heroes. back here at home, during tough times, he was very laudable. he was a flamboyant guy, and very valuable providing exposure to the marines during the 1930's to keep us in everybody's got straight as a matter fact, he had a job that i have -- keep us in everybody's thoughts. as a matter of fact, he added that job that i have. this is a rumor that in the
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basement, if you smell cigar smoke, it is butler checking up on current occupants. i have not smelled it yet. he was talking about a different time, and his views and opinions were of a different time in america. if you look at what the marines -- where the marines have been a lately, it has not been at time of us going into other countries to take resources away from them. if you look at places like haiti, marines in conjunction with other services went into haiti because the people needed help. if you look at pakistan, because of the floods earlier, we went to help people who desperately needed our help -- food, water, medical supplies. if you look at our recent efforts in iraq, you don't see the americans looking that
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country. rather, you see us returning some of the objects they have lost over the years. certainly, we have helped them set up their own independent resource allocation systems so they can sell their oil to whoever they want to sell it to. i don't think it to the that correct history that general -- i don't think that if you look at current history that general butler was correct. he was speaking of a different kind. we are doing very positive things with different countries, working closely with them to develop a democratic system, most importantly to develop their own system brought i would disagree with the general based on current events. host: putting more about the marine corps tuition assistance program, how it works, the benefits in the future of eight. -- of it.
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guest: i understand some news has recently come out about tuition assistance. it provides an opportunity to partially paid for the education. it is one that a lot of marines take advantage of, to get higher education while they are on active duty. it is being looked at from several ways. how much money is being used, how much goes towards it. right now the system stands as it has always stood. prince is still getting benefits, -- marines are still getting benefits, and it will be transparent to judge the future of the program. host: new york, retired marine. caller: semper fi, general. happy birthday. guest: happy birthday, marine.
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caller: my concern as i entered active duty in august 1971 right after high school board am concerned about feet -- right after high school. i am concerned about the corps being depleted during ronald reagan's term in office. our going back to being depleted of those resources, especially in base housing. guest: first of all, thanks for your service, semper fi to you, happy birthday. you served at a tough time. i came in in 1975. you and i stomped the same ground. our commandant and department of defense are adamant that that will not happen. we will provide it ready
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equipment and ready training. we learned a lesson from your time and my early time in the corps and we are not going to repeat those mistakes as we come out of afghanistan and re position ourselves for the future. i know there are not many marine bases in new york, but i encourage you, if you ever get a chance to travel up around, take a look at the bases today. they are revamped bases. you mentioned base housing. quarters have never been better bu. there has been a privatization program responsible for that, but our marines live on a wonderful quarters. our barracks have never been better. we have had a good military construction budget over the past few years. marines live comparatively to what college students live at,
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perhaps a little bit better. i think -- you were in a tough time, and we appreciate the sacrifices you made. anybody can understand just how tough they were. but those times have passed, and we are very concerned about living conditions for our marines and their families. the schools on base, the housing on base, the ability for them to get health care has never been better. i would encourage you to take a look around if you get a chance. he would be stunned by the difference. host: our guest has been at the 10 general richard mills -- has been a lieutenant general richard mills, joining us for from the u.s. marine corps museum. thanks for starting military week with us.
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>> in a few moments lara logan interviewed by former network correspondent marvin calen at the national press club and british prime minister david cameron at last week's g-20 summit and the ongoing to cry sis in the euro-zone and the future of the "arab spraining" then a look at how the marine corps might be affected by budget cuts. on with the washington journal" tomorrow morning, bill gertz taking your questions about iran's nuclear program. hans von spakovsky and jon greenbaum. and major general james holmes. he will discuss the airport
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drone program and its role in afghanistan. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> this is the following -- >> you got that. >> you might want to leave -- we do this every four years. >> you got a great secretary of state. you have done a great job. you're going to make sure that new hampshire remains first in the nation. it is a responsibility and an honor which new hampshire deserves and i'm happy to be
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part of that process around to put my name on this paper and hopefully this time it will take and i'll be able to become the nominee for our party and hopefully the next president of the united states. there are new hampshire primary is set for january 10. you can follow campaign 2012 online with the c-span video library. all searchable, shareable and free. the c-span video library. it is washington, your way. >> cbs news chief foreign correspondent lara logan talks with marvin calen in part of a continuing series of interviews hosted by george washington university, harvard and the national press club. she has received numerous honors including an emmy and a measureo award.
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from the national press club in washington, d.c., this is "the calen report" with marvin calen. [applause] >> hello and welcome to the national press club and to another edition of "the really a b report." -- the kalb report. she is a cbs correspondent and a "60 minutes" correspondent as well. to say she has enjoyed a meet oric career is stating the obvious. she worked at several newspapers in south africa where she was born. fre lance -- freelancing for fox and i.t.n. and fre freelanced for radio news and joined cbs news and her career since then
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has sky rocketed. first reporting on the war in iraq for "the cbs evening news" and "60 minutes 2" and shen she was named chief foreign correspondent for cbs and a regular contributor to "60 minutes." during the egyptian revolution in early 2011 she was brutally assaulted and beaten while covering this story, but she bounced right back and along the way winning many prizes and the admiration and respect of her colleagues. lara logan, welcome to "the cal b -- kalb report. glad to have you here. >> thank you for having me. >> tell us how did it all fit together? >> well, i think the first thing that i was filled with before i really understood what was going on around me was a great sense of injustice on the party.
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that was probably instilled in me at home because we were taught to treat people with expect no matter who they were. >> the official policy of the south african government separating white from blacks. >> treating black people as second class citizens in their own country. i remember as a young child standing in the grocery store. my dad would take us every weekend to get some candy. everyone kept going past him. i remember asking my father, why? when we got to the front, my father wouldn't let me pay for the candy until the shopkeeper served this gentleman standing there. it was that kind of thing around me that thought me there was something very wrong. i think it was the values instilled in me as a young child that taught me what to stand up for. at 17, i got a job at the local
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newspaper. i did all the silly stories. i would work at night, the weekends. when most of the other kids at school were at the beach, i was at the newspaper. i knew there was a whole world that the south african government wouldn't allow us to see. i ended up on the front lines of afghanistan at a tv station. people noticed me because no one else was reporting. i was with the afghan soldiers in no one else was doing that. it was just as if i had just begun my journalism career. i spent months in angola. the resistance there, we would dig in the ground for food. >> you were a war correspondent. i'm wondering in your mind, how would you define being a war
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correspondent? is there something different? what are the qualities that you need? >> i think there is something true to all people who do the kind of work that i do. all journalists who choose to do that kind of work. i think the story bigger than you. that's what you're really motivated by. if you're motivate by being on television, you're not there. you're not the one on the sharp edge, on the razor's edge of the true side of the war. not just the hundreds of people that flocked to baghdad the day the city fell. i'm talking about the 100 journalists that stayed when the city was under attack. i think we're motivated by the same thing that murrow was motivated by. being an observer. witness to history. one of the most fundamental tenants to any democracy. you to first witness it and then decide where you stand.
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>> you feel that you're there as a -- to these people of the united states in this case? >> if you imagine there are things that happen out there, if there is no one there to witness it, they never happened. i would spend time with people in the war in angola. no one cared about that war. who was recording what was being done to those people if we were not there? people were being tortured and mass considered and slaughter -- massacred and slaughtered. i didn't do it because it was going to make me famous. i did it because i believed in it. >> was there anyone you looked up to as a war correspondent? >> there were so many people that i respected but i never wanted to be somebody else. i always wanted to be my own person. and i didn't grow up within -- in the arms of the american media. i respected what christiana did.
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i think the people that i really respected most were the ones in the trenches with me who taught me everything that i know? >> the reporters? soldiers? there are reporters. in south africa in the fight against arpartheid. they leaved that it was wrong. if -- believed that it was wrong. if we could expose what was happening it would change. there was something truly noble in what all of us did. great correspondents, cameramen from all over the world came there to work. that's who taught me my craft. even the young black guy who didn't have the education but could find a way to get your tape in and out of that town shship and would risk everything.
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there was a bond of something great and noble that we were doing and we all believed in it. >> as the chief foreign affairs correspondent for cbs, you will, of course, and you have been called upon to cover stories that not only mean war, but diplomacy, state department gobbledigook. how do you see that yourself? do you find yourself more comfortable doing war than the summit? >> yes. without question. more invested in it. it requires more of you. it asks for of you. it asks you to find out who you are and it asks what is truly important. i would -- i would give up a toilet and a hot meal and a bed any day for a story that is real. i can't stand to dabble in things that are not real.
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they don't mean anything. it doesn't burn that fire in you the way it does to be out there in the most impossible situation doing something that is truly the difference between life and death. >> couldn't it be argued that the president of this country and of that sitting there making a decision about war and preas doing something that is quite a -- peace are doing something that is quite a burning issue as well? >> no question. it just doesn't burn in me. it is terribly boring sometimes. people lie to you. you spend hours trying to work out what the hell they just told you. i prefer people that are straight talking. >> do you think the military people what they told you, they are straight talkers? >> not always. but i have become very adept at sorting out the talking points from what is real. over the years, i've acquired a reputation for having some depth
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of knowledge. this is recorded, right? [laughter] i have to be quite honest with you. when you're dealing with those kind of people, they sort of don't really mind when you call them out on it. they kind of expect it. when you call a politician out, they don't appreciate it. >> let's talk a little bit about embedded journalism. you have been embedded with american forces a number of times and spoken about the unwritten rules of embedded journalism. >> it was that context. i'm expanding my -- >> ok. let me go back to the question. you have embedded many times. what are the unwritten rules? >> i think they are the same rules that fly anything.
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integrity. that's really what -- apply to anything. integrity. that's what i'm talking about. if you're a crime reporter, a justice reporter, there is a certain amount of trust that develops in any of those situations and if a -- can you not report on this now because you're going jeopardize this case. very often reporters make those judgment calls. what i meant when i was talking about that, i think when i spend weeks on end with soldiers, when they are talking about, you know, very personal things, i don't think they think that i'm going to go and put that in the media. i think there is a bond of trust that develops with you over time where there are certain things that are understood. i don't mean that in a sense that you ever compromise your journal isk integrity. i really, truly don't. if i give my word that i'm not going report something or this is the reason i'm here, i need a very compelling reason to shift that. i think your sword your bond and
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the story has never -- word is your bond and the story has never been more important to me. i have never encountered the story that was more important than my integrity. >> good. good. a big blogger. you probably know this already. i'm not breaking any big story. there is a blogger who referred to you as the pentagon's -- journalist. i don't think he meant it as a compliment. why do you think he said it? >> because when general stanley m.s. crystal was released after the "rolling stone" article, i didn't fall into line with everybody else and say this is horrendous. that is partly because i know man that he is. i had never met him. i know when something feels wrong. it felt wrong.
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i don't believe that was a true report. i don't believe that it was truly accurate of the situation. i don't think what was described was presented in the right context and it didn't add up. michael hastings said i emailed them and they just invited me to paris to come into these hubs to see them in these open situations. i think if he had been at an event, his wedding anniversary where he had not seen his wife for a year, that is an incredibly personal environment. there was no mention that he was drinking. the impression that you were left with if you read the article, was that it was a free for all. i think there was a distinct -- i think there was something dishonest about that article and i'll say it again and again and i don't care what they say, if we were not on television, i would tell them what they could go do with themselves. >> [laughter]
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>> i think get the spirit of that. i gather from what you said in the past that you think journalists were do share their personal opinions with the public. 2009, you were quoted as saying, every true journalist wants to change the world. i think it is game playing to say oh, reporters shouldn't give their informed opinions. that's been a function of journalism forever. i could argue that boined you but i don't think i'll do -- point with you but i don't think i'll do that now. do you give your opinion in news reporting? >> what you're talking about is in reaction to -- i was on an internet show. i was asked for my panned analysis. i -- opinion and analysis. i wasn't reporting. i was trying to say -- when i said journalists have always given their opinion, i was talking about the editorial pages of the newspaper. there was an op-ed page. i don't think those things
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should be confused. i think they are very distinct and it is important that those lines remain forever drawn. i don't think my job is to stay on the "cbs evening news" and give my condition. my job is to be a true journalist and reporter. but i think when you're asked for your opinion, you should be entitled to give it and not be vilified for giving it. you're asking me for my opinion on this show, right? >> i'm going ask you. you have a reputation for being swrout spoken. you -- outspoken. you have demonstrated that. what is your opinion of the coverage of the wars in iraq and afghanistan? >> it is very hard to paint it with one brush. i don't like hearing academics and analysts talking from washington, d.c. who have spent very little time on the ground in those countries and who have
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a controlled experience when they have gone out there and they go for a week and are flown in and shepherded from meeting to meeting. if you haven't had time to taste dirt in afghanistan with afghan people, if you haven't had time to bleed, i don't mean literally, i don't think that you can ever have a true understanding. for me, i don't like shows when i listen to a bunch of academics with access to the white house. i don't think they know what they are talking about a lot of the time. there is a lot to be said for reporter who is spend time on the ground. i think there has been some great reporting. i worked shoulder-to-shoulder with some great journalists. a couple from "the "new york times"." this is not a "new york times" program. richard engel. i don't agree with everything but he has done incredible work
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out there. other journalists from foreign networks and our own cbs people who have spent a lot of time out there and done great stuff. of course i'm sitting here in wds now because i've been asked to do -- in washington, d.c. now because i've been asked the o do much more for the network. if i didn't have a husband and two small children, i would be in afghanistan now. i believe that you would see some reporting that you're not seeing now. that doesn't mean that i have the answer to everything. i think that it is patchy. i think there is a lack of commitment. "60 minutes" has reported consistently on the war and our ratings have never suffered for it. >> you said if i watch the news that you're watching here in the united states, i would blow my brains out. it would drive me nuts. >> yes, i stand by that. [laughter] >> ok.
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take one step back and go from comments about the media to comments about policy. the invasion of iraq in 2003, good or bad idea? >> terrible idea. one of the worst ideas in history. based on lies first and foremost. we never went into iraq to help the iraqi people. let's just be frank about that. upfront. more than that, it was never set to achieve anything good. you could argue if you're a shiite, who now is in power, never had a demarns a decent life. that -- chance for a decent life. i'm talking about from an american perspective. a western perspective because the world has been quick to divide this fight into american and non-american and i believe in that division. i think it is -- i don't believe in that division.
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i think it is between western and non-western. it is for people who believe in a way of life that we believe in and people who believe in a way of life that goes back centuries to what i call a very dark time. i think that it has been an abject failure. the true depth of a failure of the iraq invasion has never been openly and honestly talked about. >> what do you sympathy missing? >> well, -- think is missing? >> well, we would like to they david petraeus came in and saved the day but he stopped the blood letting not because of the surge but because of an agreement with the sunnis. it was -- there was so much blood on the sunies' hands. what the surge did was prevent them from being massacred by the iraqi government and the
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iranians because they wanted them dead, believe me. every single last one of them. it was really the sunni saying -- he has the weapons. this is the guy you want to shut down. that will stop the blood letting. in terms of strategy, national security, strategic interest, the invasion of iraq was an abject failure. it empowered iran to a degree that we have never been honest about and never served the american interest. it depends on which side of the line you came from in iraq. >> let me ask you about afghanistan since you have been so blunt about your views on iraq. i recently, with my daughter, did a book about the effect of the vietnam war on presidential policy making. and when we talk to people at
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the u.s. embassy in cabo, they said u.s. policy can be defined as good enough. if they can come up with some kind of formal that is politically accept to believe the american people, that is good enough. did you hear the same kind of thing from the people and do you feel that good enough at this stage of the war is good enough? >> i think that is an indictment on the u.s. embassy. i expect nothing more from politicians. it was head bid carl iken berbery. -- eikenberry. what is good enough? what is good enough for afghan people? what is good enough for the american soldiers that are ouled out there?
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has anyone seen what the debris actually looks like? i was shocked. i'm used to being on the battlefield and used to seeing them wounded leaving in a medevac chopper. it is not even close to ok. for me, i don't think that is a policy that is good enough for anybody that is involved in this. if you're not in it to fight if, you don't believe it can be won, when i say won, people say what does that mean? everyone has a different definition. what it means -- what we -- go back to your original -- it wasn't an invasion. the afghans are quick to point out they toppled the taliban with u.s. help. there were several hundred u.s. personnel on the ground at the time. the aim was to defeat al qaeda and the taliban and make sure
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they would never threaten the national interests of the united states ever again. that is not the case. you want to preserve the right to sit down and negotiate with them? they will bring out every ack temperature -- academic in washington. i believe they just won their insurgency on the battlefield. for me, if you're not, people think when i say this, i'm advocating for war. i'm not. if you're going to go to war, you had better go to war and you had better win. but if you're not and you're just going to loiter on the battlefield, then get the hell out because you have no right to ask people to go fight in your name because you're lying to them. the best analogy i can give you, to the u.s. troops, line them up.
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give them a shove. that's what they are doing. the enemy is not afghanistan. the expendable people are in afghanistan. the real enemy is in pakistan. i'm not advocating for war in pakistan. as long as you're not going after the commander in control, we have the capacity and information to do that and we have not because of our foreign policy towards pakistan, then you no business being in the fight. when people say he is not a strategic partner and he is corrupt, so some 30 or 40 guys will strap on suicide bombs and blow themselves up at a u.s. base because they are pissed because they are corrupt? give me a break. that is an excuse. >> cut it down the chase. what do you sympathy really at the heart of the american effort now in afghanistan? >> get the hell out.
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that's all i care about. we don't think afghans are worth the fight. it is their problem and we want to get out again. >> at this particular point, if the u.s. were to work out a way of getting out without having accomplished its original purpose, it sounds to me you think it has been a waste. >> yeah, it has been a waste. you have the location -- runs the afghan war. you don't have to go in there. if you have their phone numbers and i know we have had for years, you don't need to go across the border. >> what do you do? >> take him out the same way you took out the others. you do it -- you target not just the -- network, you take 24-48 hours out of you day where you
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talk to all the people who know where you are. tell them that putting american bodies in arlington cemetery is not an acceptable form of foreign policy. [applause] >> our radio, television and webcast viewers. i'm talking with lara logan, cbs news chief foreign affairs correspondent. lara, let me raise what is probably a difficult subject for you. early on in the egyptian revolution you were sexually assaulted and beaten until you couldn't do you job. you're not back full time. i'm wondering whether that experience has affected you as a journalist. i have in mind a comment that you made to scott pelly in an interview with "60 minutes." you said i have a fear in me
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that i've never had before. i don't want to let it stop me but it is going to be difficult. explain that. >> i think that all of us, you know, you have this, you carry with you this idea that it is not going to be me. i know this could happen but you don't really believe it is going to be you and then one day it is you. you can't laugh at yourself sigs the best way to describe it. i've lived with afghan soldiers on their front line for three months with nobody with me. just two afghans that i just met who didn't even speak english. would i do that again? i think the thing that is most difficult is that it reminds you of the price of the people you love have to pay for what you do. i could do this for me. if it was just me, i would go back to libya and be testing myself and finding my limit.

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